Monday, May 11, 2009

DiLeo is out as Sixers coach, who's in?

Tony DiLeo is out as coach of the Sixers but don't expect him to be upset about it.

DiLeo never really wanted to be the coach of the Sixers, yet GM Ed Stefanski convinced DiLeo to take the reigns after Mo Cheeks was fired back in December. DiLeo did an admirable job with the team, guiding the team to a strong finish as he stressed pushing the ball as often as possible. When the Sixers were ousted after the first round, however, it became pretty clear that DiLeo wasn't going to be on the Sixers bench for much longer.

That speculation became fact today as DiLeo told Stefanski that he wanted to take his name out of consideration for the coaching position for the coming season. Instead, DiLeo will return to his previous position as senior vice president and assistant general manager for the Sixers. All things considered, DiLeo did a solid job getting the team to the playoffs but it was clear that he never really wanted to be a coach. His place is in the front office, so that's why he is headed back there.

The search for a new coach for the Sixers officially begins now. The two names we have heard that make the most sense for the Sixers are Doug Collins and Eddie Jordan. Collins is a former Sixer who works for TNT as an annoucer and has said he is interested in leading the team. His last stint as coach of the Wizards was less than impressive, but he is well-respected in the league and would demand a lot from this young Sixers squad. Jordan is also a former Wizards coach and he has ties with Stefanski, but he hasn't had a great track record either.

There are some other names that have been thrown about that are purely speculation, from former Mavs coach Avery Johnson to Villanova coach Jay Wright. Both would be interesting choices, but don't hold your breath that Wright would want to leave 'Nova.

Whoever eventually comes in to coach the Sixers will have a ton of pressure on them to turn this franchise around. There is also even more pressure on Ed Stefanski since this will be the first coach he hires for the team and his job is likely on the line if he makes the wrong choice.

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