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Indiana Pacers hire ex-Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle

Rick Carlisle resigned as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks last week. He agreed to a four-year contract to become the Indiana Pacers' head coach. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
Rick Carlisle resigned as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks last week. He agreed to a four-year contract to become the Indiana Pacers' head coach. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

June 24 (UPI) -- Just one week after resigning from the Dallas Mavericks, Rick Carlisle agreed to a four-year contract to return to the Indiana Pacers as head coach.

League sources told ESPN and the Indianapolis Star that Carlisle's four-year deal is worth $29 million plus incentives. The Pacers announced the hiring of Carlisle on Thursday afternoon, but the team didn't disclose terms of the agreement.

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"Rick is a proven winner with a championship and will be a Hall of Fame coach," Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said in a statement. "He has demonstrated throughout his career an ability to build something with sustainable success.

"He has great respect for our franchise and our fans from his previous times here. We are very happy to welcome him back to Indiana."

Carlisle previously coached the Pacers for four seasons (2003-07), compiling a 181-147 record. He helped guide the club to the playoffs three times in that span, including a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2003-04 campaign.

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The 61-year-old Carlisle also was a top assistant under former Pacers head coach and NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird for three seasons (1997-2000).

Before returning to Indiana, Carlisle spent the past 13 seasons as head coach of the Mavs. He became the franchise's winningest coach with a 555-478 record and led Dallas to its only championship in the 2010-11 season.

Carlisle's resignation came a day after the organization parted ways with longtime president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson. Carlisle, however, said the Mavericks' front-office changes didn't impact his decision.

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"You never want to get to a point where you ever feel like you're overstaying your welcome, and I just felt like this is the right time," Carlisle told ESPN on Thursday. "I just have such great respect for [Mavericks owner Mark Cuban] and everyone there, and I'm fortunate to move on to another great opportunity."

Carlisle replaces Nate Bjorkgren, who was fired after just one season as the Pacers' head coach. Indiana posted a 34-38 record last season and lost in the NBA Play-In Tournament, snapping the team's streak of five straight playoff appearances.

In 19 seasons as head coach of the Detroit Pistons (2001-03), Pacers and Mavericks, Carlisle has compiled an 836-689 career record. He will enter the 2021-22 season ranked 15th in league history in coaching wins.

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