(MEMPHIS) — According to reports, the Memphis Grizzlies have hired Dave Joerger as their next head coach.
The 39-year-old Joerger has spent the last six seasons as an assistant coach with the Grizzlies. He will replace Lionel Hollins, who was granted permission by the team to look for other coaching opportunities. Hollins leaves Memphis with a 196-155 record.
Joerger was asked by Hollins to oversee the Grizzlies’ defense before the 2010-11 season. It has improved substantially from that point on, ranking second in the NBA during this past season.
The Grizzlies, coming off their first Western Conference finals appearance in franchise history, chose to interview more experienced candidates before turning to Joerger. Among those who were interviewed were former Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry and Chicago Bulls assistant Ed Pickney.
With the hiring of Joerger, there will be at least seven first-time head coaches in the NBA next season.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN