Pacers bring Rick Carlisle back for second stint as head coach

Indiana Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Pacers are hiring Rick Carlisle as their new head coach, the team announced Thursday.

It’s Carlisle’s second stint as head coach with the Pacers. He previously served as head coach from 2003 to 2007. He had also been an assistant with the team from 1997 through 2000.

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, citing sources, said Carlisle will sign a four-year deal worth $29 million.

“Rick is a proven winner with a championship and will be a Hall of Fame coach,” Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard said in a statement. “He has demonstrated throughout his career an ability to build something with sustainable success. He has great respect for our franchise and our fans from his previous times here. We are very happy to welcome him back to Indiana.”

Most recently, Carlisle coached the Dallas Mavericks. He stepped down from that position at the end of the season with two years remaining on his contract.

Carlisle coached in Dallas from 2008 through 2021. He led the team to an NBA title during the 2010-2011 season.

He’ll replace Nate Bjorkgren, who was fired as the Pacers’ head coach after only one season at the helm.

Carlisle boasted a 181-147 record with the Pacers from 2003-2007 and coached the team to the Eastern Conference Finals in his first season. But suspensions from the infamous Pacers-Pistons brawl had an outsize impact on the 2004-2005 season and the franchise as a whole.

Carlisle was fired as head coach after the team finished 12 games under .500 and missed the playoffs during the 2006-2007 season.

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