Former Pistons coach Chuck Daly dies

May 9, 2009 at 9:46 AM
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JUPITER, Fla., May 9 (UPI) -- Chuck Daly, who coached the Detroit Pistons to back-to-back NBA titles, died Saturday of pancreatic cancer at the age of 78.

Daly, who was diagnosed with cancer in March, died in Jupiter, Fla., surrounded by his family.

Known as the ultimate players coach, Daly led the Pistons to NBA titles in 1989 and 1990 and coached the original Dream Team to the Olympic gold medal in 1992.

Daly affectionately earned the nickname "Daddy Rich" for his perfectly fitting dapper suits, The Detroit Free Press reported Saturday. "Tailoring covers your sins," Daly once said.

Daly, who joined the Pistons in 1983, was skilled at managing players' egos, including those of Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer and Dennis Rodman, who called Daly "God" and viewed him as a father figure, the Free Press said.

Born in St. Mary's, Pa., Daley coached high school basketball before becoming an assistant at Duke University and a head coach at Boston College and Penn.

Daly left the Pistons following the 1992 season and coached two seasons each with New Jersey and Orlando, making the playoffs three times before he retired.

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