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No surprise, Pacers choose Carlisle

WTHR.com is the news leader for Indianapolis and Central Indiana. Get the best news, weather, sports and traffic information from Channel 13.
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Indianapolis, Sept. 3 - The Indiana Pacer have hired Rick Carlisle to take over the reigns of the team after the firing of Isiah Thomas.

Carlisle is no stranger to the Pacer organization, particularly President Larry Bird. It was under Bird that Carlisle served as assistant coach for three years and the two were also teammates with the Boston Celtics.

After Bird left the Pacers, Carlisle wanted the promotion to head coach, but CEO Donnie Walsh hired Isiah Thomas.

In 2001 Carlisle did get an NBA head coaching job with the Detroit Pistons. In his first year there he led the team to an 18-game turnaround from the previous season and was named the NBA Coach of the Year.

In the 2002 season the Pistons reached the Eastern Conference finals, only to be swept by New Jersey.

Detroit let Carlisle go, bringing in former Pacer coach Larry Brown.

As an NBA head coach, Carlisle has a record of 100-64.