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Indiana Pacers hire Rick Carlisle as head coach with $29 million contract

The Indiana Pacers are hiring Rick Carlisle as their head coach, reuniting with the highly-regarded NBA head coach shortly after he left the Dallas Mavericks.

Carlisle, 61, resigned as Mavericks’ coach on June 17 with two years left on his contract. Amid the team’s organizational turmoil, he sought an opportunity for a fresh start.

The Pacers started their coaching search on June 10 after firing Nate Bjorkgren, who lasted just one season with the franchise. After the experiment with an inexperienced coach backfired, Indiana settled on bringing in a familiar face to help the organization rebound.

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon first reported the news, reporting that Carlisle is signing a four-year contract worth $29 million.

  • Rick Carlisle career record: 836-689, 63 playoff victories

Carlisle began his coaching career as an assistant with the New Jersey Nets (1989-’94) and later joined the Portland Trail Blazers (1994-’97). Following the 1997 season, he joined the Pacers as an assistant under former teammate Larry Bird.

He first became a head coach in 2001 with the Detroit Pistons, before taking the same role with Indiana in 2003. Across four seasons with him at the helm, the Pacers posted a 181-147 record, reaching the NBA Playoffs three times.

Carlisle’s contract will average $7.25 million per season, making him one of the highest-paid coaches in the NBA.