Rick Carlisle is returning to Indiana after agreeing to a four-year deal to become the head coach of the Pacers again, he told ESPN.
The deal is worth $29 million plus incentives, sources said.
“It’s a team of skilled, unselfish guys that play hard. It’s always possible that moves could be made before the season, but I think [GM Kevin Pritchard] and I are both very excited about getting the roster healthy and seeing what this team can be,” Carlisle said.
Most NBA Wins as Pacers Coach
Rick Carlise’s 181 wins as Pacers head coach are already fourth most in the franchise’s NBA history (Slick Leonard would top this list when including ABA history).
|— ESPN Stats & Information|
The Pacers are hiring Carlisle a week after he resigned as the Dallas Mavericks’ head coach. Carlisle spent 13 seasons in Dallas, becoming the franchise’s winningest coach with a 555-478 record and leading the Mavs to the franchise’s only championship in 2010-11.
Carlisle previously coached the Pacers for four seasons (2003-04 to 2006-07), compiling a 181-147 record and making the playoffs three times, including an Eastern Conference finals appearance in 2003-04. He also was a top assistant under Larry Bird for three seasons (1997-98 to 1999-2000).
He replaces Nate Bjorkgren, who was fired earlier this month after one season.
The Pacers’ five-year playoff streak ended this season when they lost to the Washington Wizards in a play-in tournament bid to earn the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. Indiana was 34-38.
Carlisle, 61, has a career record of 836-689 in stints with the Detroit Pistons, Pacers and Mavs. He ranks 15th in career wins and is third among active coaches behind only the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich and Philadelphia 76ers’ Doc Rivers.