The Memphis Grizzlies reached an agreement in principle to promote assistant Dave Joerger to replace Lionel Hollins as coach, ESPN reports, citing unidentified people involved in the negotiations.
Joerger, 39, spent the past six National Basketball Association seasons on the Grizzlies’ coaching staff. He emerged as the favorite to become coach after the Grizzlies opted not to offer Hollins a new contract earlier this month, though the team also interviewed former Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry and Chicago Bulls assistant Ed Pinckney for the vacancy, ESPN said.
Joerger takes over a team that had a franchise-best 56-26 record this season and reached the Western Conference finals before losing to the San Antonio Spurs. Hollins’s contract was expiring at the end of this month and the team opted to make a change due to philosophical differences between the coach and the front office, the Commercial Appeal of Memphis said, citing unidentified people close to management.
Before joining the Grizzlies, Joerger coached in the International Basketball Association, the Continental Basketball Association and the NBA’s developmental league.