Pistons appoint head coach of Drive
The Detroit Pistons have named a team scout as the new head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive.
Rob Werdann will be on the bench for the Drive this season after spending the previous three seasons as a pro scout for the Pistons.
Werdann will assume duties from Rex Walters, who has been named a Pistons assistant coach.
Pistons president of basketball operations and head coach Stan Van Gundy said the organization was pleased with Walters’ development of young players on assignment last year and that Werdann will be a “great asset” to the Drive, the Pistons’ G-League affiliate.
“Rob has a great deal of coaching and scouting experience in the NBA and knows our organization’s culture and philosophy,” Van Gundy said.
Prior to joining the Pistons’ staff, Werdann was an assistant coach with the G-League’s Idaho Stampede for the 2013-14 season. He was also an assistant with the then-Charlotte Bobcats, the Golden State Warriors and the then-New Orleans Hornets, where he was also the team’s advance scout for five seasons. His coaching career began in the China Basketball Association as an assistant with the Yakuma Sun Kings, and he was an assistant with the G-League’s Columbus Riverdragons.
Werdann had a three-year playing stint in the NBA, beginning with his selection by the Denver Nuggets in the 1992 NBA Draft. He played for the Nuggets and the New Jersey Nets.
In College, Werdann played four seasons at St. John’s University, where he still holds the program record for career blocks with 188. He made three straight NCAA tournaments with St. John’s and helped the team to a Big East Championship and an Elite Eight appearance in the 1991 tournament.
Last year, Walters led the Drive to a 26-24 record and worked to develop the Pistons’ future stars, including 2016 NBA Draft No. 18 pick Henry Ellenson, who made several trips down to Grand Rapids. Prior to coaching the Drive, Walters spent eight seasons as head coach at the University of San Francisco.
The Pistons announced the coaching changes in tandem with the announcement of a two-year extension with the Grand Rapids Drive to continue as their G-League affiliate.