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May 9, 2002

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Former University of Virginia basketball player Rick Carlisle received the National Basketball Association (NBA) Coach of the Year Award on May 7 after leading the Detroit Pistons to the Central Division title in his first year with the team.

Carlisle led Detroit to 50 wins, 18 more than last season, and its first division title since 1990.

“This isn’t an award for me,” Carlisle said. “This is an award for our franchise. I’m humbled to win this and be among this type of basketball royalty, but I couldn’t have done it without the players and the staff and their hard work.”

Detroit started 14-6, then lost 13 of 16 games, before bouncing back and finishing the regular season with a 33-13 run.

Carlisle had 16 years of experience as a player and an assistant coach in the NBA before being hired as the Pistons’ head coach in May of 2001. He was drafted in the third round of the 1984 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics and played three seasons with the Celtics. Boston won the NBA Championship in 1986. Carlisle also played with the New York Knickerbockers and the New Jersey Nets.

He spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach in the NBA. He was an assistant with the New Jersey Nets, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Indiana Pacers. Carlisle was a radio analyst with the Seattle SuperSonics during the 2000-01 season.

He played two seasons at guard for Virginia after transferring from the University of Maine. He was one of the captains of UVa’s 1984 NCAA Final Four team.

Carlisle is a native of Ogdensburg, N.Y. He averaged 10.3 points a game for Virginia during the 1982-83 season and 11.1 points a game in 1983-84. His 10-foot jump shot with four seconds left in overtime provided the Cavaliers with their margin of victory in a 53-51 win over Arkansas in the second round of the 1984 NCAA Tournament.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Virginia in 1984

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