Human Resources and Sports Business

Pistons call up head coach of Grand Rapids Drive

June 15, 2016
| By Pat Evans |
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Otis Smith
Otis Smith. Photo via fb.com

The first head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive is headed back to the National Basketball Association.

After coaching the Drive's first two seasons, Otis Smith will move up to be director of player development and an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons.

The move was announced today by Pistons Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy.

The promotion coincides with other promotions in Detroit, including Pat Garrity to assistant general manager, Andrew Loomis to chief of staff and Bob Beyer to associate head coach. Quentin Richardson is leaving the Detroit organization for personal reasons. Brendan Malone will transition from bench coach to special assignment scout.

 “I’m proud to announce the restructuring of our basketball staff, knowing that we have great people expanding their roles, while maintaining continuity within our department,” Van Gundy said. “Pat, Andrew and Bob are well-deserving of new responsibilities, and we welcome Otis to Detroit on a full-time basis.”

A search for a new Drive head coach is underway.

"We're excited for Otis to be joining the Detroit Pistons organization full-time,” the Drive said in statement. “The search for a new head coach is underway in conjunction with the Detroit Pistons basketball operations staff, and we look forward to making an announcement regarding new basketball leadership for the Grand Rapids Drive once that process has concluded."

Smith's background

Prior to his time as Drive head coach, Smith was president of basketball operations/general manager of the Orlando Magic from 2010-12.

He joined the Magic in 2003 as director of player development and also held the roles of assistant general manager and general manger.

Under his management, the DeVos-owned Magic made the playoffs six times, including four straight 50-plus win seasons and reached the NBA finals in 2009.

Smith also spent time in the Golden State Warriors organization.

As a player in the NBA, Smith played for Denver, Golden State and Orlando.  

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