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The Sports Xchange, Published June 25 2013

Grizzlies hire ex-MSUM basketball player as head coach

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Memphis Grizzlies are officially staying in-house to fill their coaching vacancy, as they promoted assistant coach Dave Joerger on Tuesday to take over for departed Lionel Hollins.

Joerger, 39, is a native of Staples, Minn., and a former Minnesota State Moorhead and Concordia College basketball player.

He paid his dues in the lower levels of pro basketball, coaching teams to five titles during his time in the International Basketball Association, the Continental Basketball Association and the NBA Development League. Hollins wasn’t offered a contract for next season after he led Memphis to the Western Conference finals.

The past six years, he’s been on the Grizzlies’ bench, helping the team to the most successful season in franchise history in 2012-13. Joerger had an integral part of forging the defense that has been a Grizzlies hallmark.

Now, the team belongs to Joerger, who will earn about $2 million per season for the next three years. The deal includes a fourth year team option, a person familiar with the deal told USA Today. The team didn’t release financial details.

The Grizzlies also interviewed former Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers coach Alvin Gentry, former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl and Chicago Bulls assistant Ed Pinckney, but Joerger was always considered the frontrunner.