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Dick Versace (born April 16, 1940) is a former basketball coach and National Basketball Association executive. He's also the first person of Puerto Rican descent to have coached an NBA team.

Early years

Versace (birth name Richard Versace) was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolinamarker. His parents were Colonel Humbert Joseph Versace and Marie Teresa Rios, a Puerto Rican author. The 1960s television sitcom The Flying Nun was based on one of her books.

Versace has coached at the high school and collegiate level and in the NBA. Versace coached at St. Joseph High School in Kenosha Wisconsin and Gordon Tech in Chicago. Versace began his college coaching career at St. Louis Universitymarker in 1972, after compiling a 204-66 record at the high school coaching level. He then moved to Michigan State Universitymarker, where he was heavily involved in the recruitment of Magic Johnson. Versace's first head coaching assignment was at the Jackson Community College in 1976. In the early 1980s, he was head men's basketball coach at Bradley Universitymarker, where he led the team to the NIT championship and was named National College Coach of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers' Association.


He later served as an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons, and as head coach of the Indiana Pacers for two years, from 1988 through 1990. After leaving the Pacers job, Versace became a sportscaster. Versace served as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks during the 1997-98 season.

In 1999, Versace was named President of Basketball Operations for the then-Vancouver Grizzlies; in 2002, he assumed the role of General Manager and remained with the team through the end of the 2004-2005 season.

Later years

On October 8, 2007, Versace announced that he would run as a Democrat for the 18th Congressional District seat now held by Republican Congressman Ray Lahood, who is retiring. On December 8, 2007, however, Versace announced that he would not be running due to "unforeseen personal circumstances."

On February 14, 2009, rumors began to spread through the local blog community that Versace will replace John Paxson as General Manager for the Chicago Bulls.

Personal life

Versace is the brother of Medal of Honor recipient Rocky Versace, who was executed by the Viet Cong in 1965. He is the brother of Dr. Stephen (his twin), Trilby Versace, and Michael Versace Rios. Versace is divorced and has two children, David and Julie.

See also


  1. Los Angeles Times
  2. Versace drops out

External links

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