Detroit Pistons hire NBA Coach of the Year Dwane Casey as new head coach

Casey to be introduced next week

DETROIT – The Detroit Pistons announced Monday that they have signed former Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey to the same position.

Casey, 61, will be formally introduced at a news conference in Detroit next week. He is expected to start player meetings and staff development this week.

"Dwane is one of the most successful and highly respected coaches in our league," Pistons owner Tom Gores said. "He’s a great communicator and a leader who will connect with our players and accelerate their growth. Having spent many hours with Dwane over the last few weeks, I’m confident he is the right person to get us to the next level.

"In our meetings he displayed great insight into what this roster can accomplish, and great passion about our city and the team’s role in bringing people together. He’s an outstanding man with impressive character. He embodies our culture and will be a great representative for our franchise."

Casey 'excited and honored' to coach Pistons

Casey led the Toronto Raptors to 59 wins last season and is a finalist for the 2018 Coach of the Year Award. Last month, he was named the Coach of the Year by the National Basketball Coaches Association.

"I am excited and honored to join the Detroit Pistons, a franchise with a championship history and a roster that is ready to win now," Casey said. "Tom really won me over with his vision for the team and the city. He clearly wants to deliver for the fans in Detroit and I believe in the strength of his leadership to do so.

"I’m confident that this team has the pieces in place to compete at a very high level. There is a lot of talent, a solid core and some exciting young players eager to get better. We’re getting to work right away on the things that will make us all successful."

Casey has coached in the NBA for 23 of the past 24 years. He coached in the 1996 and 2001 NBA Finals and the 1996, 1998 and 2018 NBA All-Star games.

During tenure with Raptors

As head coach of the Raptors from 2011-2018, Casey compiled a 320-238 (.573) regular-season record and led the Raptors to a franchise-record five consecutive playoff appearances, including a trip to the 2016 Eastern Conference finals.

The all-time winningest coach in Raptors history, Casey led Toronto to the franchise’s first 50-win season in 2015-16, recorded 50-plus wins in each of the last three seasons and posted a franchise-record 59 wins in 2017-18, earning the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Toronto won four Atlantic Division titles during Casey’s tenure. He was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month five times and, last February, became the first coach in Raptors history to be selected to coach in the NBA All-Star game.

Previous coaching jobs

Before joining the Raptors, Casey was the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2005-07. His 2005-06 team's defense finished in the NBA’s top 10 in average points per game allowed and lowest opponent field goal percentage.

Casey started his NBA career as an assistant coach with the Seattle Supersonics, where he worked from 1994-2005 under George Karl, Paul Westphal and Nate McMillan.

He was promoted to associate head coach in November 2000, and nine of his teams in Seattle finished above .500, with five winning at least 50 games. The 1996 squad won the Western Conference championship after finishing the regular season with a franchise-record 64 victories.

Casey also spent three seasons (2008-11) as an assistant to Rick Carlisle in Dallas, where he directed the club’s defense and helped lead the Mavericks to the 2011 NBA championship. Dallas posted a 162-84 (.659) record during that span. Casey's defensive unit held opponents to 96 points per game (sixth in the NBA) and .450 percent shooting from the field (eighth in the NBA) during the 2010-11 regular season.

Before coaching in the NBA, Casey spent five seasons as a head coach in the Japanese Basketball League and worked with the Japanese national team. In the summer of 1998, he helped guide Japan to its first appearance in the FIBA world championship.


A native of Morganfield, Kentucky, Casey played collegiately at the University of Kentucky. During his junior season, the Wildcats went 30-2 and captured the 1978 NCAA championship. As a senior, he was named team captain and won Kentucky’s all-academic award.

Casey earned a degree in business administration in 1979. He and his wife, Brenda, have a daughter, Justine, and a son, Zachary.

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