The Grizzlies swallowed hard and promoted Dave Joerger, the man credited with turning around the Grizzlies defense last season, to Lead Assistant Coach for the next two years according to the Commercial Appeal.
Joerger replaces former Lead Assistant Johnny Davis who took off for Canada and the Toronto Raptors earlier this season. Joerger himself was courted by the Houston Rockets before re-signing with the Grizzlies. Also gone from last season’s staff is Damon Stoudamire who joined the Memphis Tigers and Josh Pastner’s staff this summer.
Originally hired by Marc Iavaroni, Joerger received a lot of attention this past season, his fourth with the Grizzlies, for the impressive gains the team made on defense this season. The Grizzlies led the league in steals and forced turnovers. More importantly the team converted those turnovers into points as the second best rate in the league.
Joerger’s record as a coach has been extraordinary. He was one of the most successful minor league coaches of all-time winning three championships in the CBA, one in the International BasketballAssociation (IBA) and one in the NBA’s D-League with the Grizzlies affiliate Dakota Wizards before joiningthe NBA. Joerger was only the 5th coach to ever be promoted from the CBA to the NBA. Joerger can claim to have won more minor league championships than former theo ther four coaches (Phil Jackson, Fliip Saunders, George Karl and Eric Musselman) combined.