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Richard Preston Carlisle (pronounced KAHR-lye-uhl) (born October 27, 1959 in Ogdensburg, New Yorkmarker) is the head coach of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. He has also coached the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons, and was previously a player in the NBA.

Playing career

Carlisle was raised in Lisbon, New Yorkmarker. He graduated from Worcester Academymarker and played two years of college basketball at the University of Mainemarker before transferring to the University of Virginiamarker, where he co-captained the Cavaliers to the Final Four in 1984. After graduating that same year, he was drafted by the Boston Celtics (23rd pick in the third round), where he played alongside Larry Bird on the Celtics' 1986 NBA Championship team. With the Celtics, he averaged 2.2 points, 1.0 assists and 0.8 rebounds per game in a limited reserve role.

In 1987, Carlisle was sent to the New York Knicks. In 1989, Carlisle played in 5 games with the New Jersey Nets.

Coaching career

Later that year, he accepted an assistant coach position with the Nets, where he spent five seasons under Bill Fitch and Chuck Daly. In 1994, Carlisle joined the assistant coaching staff with the Portland Trail Blazers under coach P.J. Carlesimo, where he spent three seasons.

In 1997, Rick Carlisle joined the Indiana Pacers organization as an assistant coach under his former teammate, Larry Bird. During his time as Pacers assistant coach, he helped the Pacers to two of their best seasons ever. First, in 1997-98, the Pacers stretched the Chicago Bulls to the limit, narrowly losing the deciding seventh game of the Eastern Conference finals to the eventual NBA champion. Then, in 1999-2000, the Pacers made the NBA Finals for the first time, ultimately losing to the Los Angeles Lakers. Bird stepped down as coach, and pushed for Carlisle to be selected as his replacement, but Pacers team president Donnie Walsh gave the job to Isiah Thomas.

Detroit Pistons

For the 2001 season, Carlisle was recruited by the Detroit Pistons to be their new head coach. In two seasons as Pistons' head coach, Carlisle led them to consecutive 50-32 records (.610) and playoff appearances, and was named Coach of the Year in 2002. However, the Pistons fired Carlisle after the 2002-03 season with a year remaining on his contract and hired Larry Brown. Friction between Carlisle and team ownership was cited as one of the primary reasons for the firing.

Ironically, Carlisle's Pistons had just dispatched Brown's 76ers in the conference semifinals.

Indiana Pacers

For the 2003-04 season, Carlisle was re-hired by the Indiana Pacers -- but this time, as its head coach (Isiah Thomas had been fired, almost immediately after Larry Bird was brought back as the new President of Basketball Operations). In his first season, Carlisle led the Pacers to the NBA's best regular-season record (61-21; 74.4%). In the playoffs, the team eliminated both the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, before losing to the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals. In 2005, the Pacers roster was decimated by injuries (most notably, those of Jermaine O'Neal and Jamaal Tinsley), and suspensions (due to the Pacers–Pistons brawl attributed to Ron Artest at the Palace of Auburn Hillsmarker). Carlisle was still able to rally the Pacers to the NBA Playoffs that season, though. As the sixth seed, they again defeated the Boston Celtics in the first round, before being defeated once again by the eventual Eastern Conference Champion, the Pistons.

After the Pacers finished the 2006-07 season with a 35-47 record (missing the playoffs for the first time since 1997), Carlisle's tenure as head coach ended; it is unclear whether he voluntarily resigned, was fired, or was pushed to resign. In four seasons with the Indiana Pacers, Carlisle compiled a 181-147 record.On June 12, 2007, Carlisle announced that he would also resign from his position as Executive Vice-president of the Pacers.

After leaving Indiana, Carlisle worked as a studio analyst for ESPN before signing with the Dallas Mavericks as its new head coach.

Dallas Mavericks

On May 9, 2008 Carlisle signed a four-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks, replacing Avery Johnson. He led them to a 50-32 record including a first round win against the San Antonio Spurs. They would lose to the Denver Nuggets 4-1 in the Western Conference Semifinals

Coaching record

82 50 32 .610 1st in Central 10 4 6
Lost in Conf. Semifinals
82 50 32 .610 1st in Central 17 8 9
Lost in Conf. Finals
82 61 21 .744 1st in Central 16 10 6
Lost in Conf. Finals
82 44 38 .537 3rd in Central 13 6 7
Lost in Conf. Semifinals
82 41 41 .500 4th in Central 6 2 4
Lost in First Round
82 35 47 .427 4th in Central
Missed Playoffs
82 50 32 .610 3rd in Southwest 10 5 5
Lost in Conf. Semifinals
574 331 243 .577 63 31 32


  1. Sources: Mavs To Hire Carlisle - New York Post
  2. ESPN - Sources: Carlisle, Mavs reach agreement on 4-year deal - NBA
  3. MAVERICKS: One and done: Carlisle tabbed to coach Mavs
  4. AFP: Mavericks reach four-year coacing deal with Carlisle
  5. Carlisle won't return as Pacers head coach, published April 25, 2007
  6. MAVERICKS: Official release: Rick Carlisle named coach

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