Having one championship ring in the NBA is no ordinary feat. However, when one tops it with a second, not as a player but a coach this time, it becomes phenomenal. Rick Carlisle, an American basketball coach and former player is one of the only 11 people to win an NBA championship both as a player and as a coach.
Carlisle is the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) since May 2008. In his coaching profile, he has also served as head coach of the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons while as a player, he played for the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets.
Who Is Rick Carlisle? – Bio
He was born Richard Preston Carlisle on the 27th day of October 1959, in Ogdensburg, New York but was raised in Lisbon, New York. He attended Lisbon High School and later Worcester Academy, Worcester, Massachusetts. After a year at Worcester, he played basketball at the University of Maine for two years before transferring to the University of Virginia ln 1982.
Rick co-captained the Cavaliers and led them to the Final Four in 1984 and graduated with a BA in Psychology. Following his graduation, the Boston Celtics selected him with the 70th overall pick in the third round marking his entry into the NBA. He played with the team from 1984 to 1987 alongside Larry Bird and was a member of the 1986 NBA champion Celtics.
Then, he signed as a free agent with the New York Knicks in 1987 and subsequently, played in 5 games with the New Jersey Nets in 1989. Eventually, the time came for his coaching career to set sail. He received an assistant coaching offer from the Nets later that year and spent 5 seasons with them after which he joined the Portland Trail Blazers assistant coaching team from 1994 to 1997.
Following the Blazers gig, he also served as the Indiana Pacers assistant coach under former teammate, Larry Bird for four seasons (1997-2001). With the Pacers organization, Rick Carlisle helped the team to two of their best seasons ever, first in 1997-98 and then in the 1999–2000 season when the Pacers made the NBA Finals for the first time.
After almost a decade in the assistant unit, Rick Carlisle was poised to take on any team as a head coach. He had learned the value of consistency over those years and developed the qualities needed to make a top-notch coach having worked under proven heads.
He was hired by the Detroit Pistons as their head coach for the 2001–02 season. He exploded in his new position with remarkable records. Rick led the team to 50 wins with two Central Division championships and one trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in his two seasons tenure. In turn, he earned the NBA Coach of the Year award in 2002.
In September 2003, he joined the Indiana Pacers organization as their head coach. In his first season, he led the Pacers to the NBA’s best record (61-21), the most victories in franchise history and a Central Division championship. In his four seasons with the Pacers, Carlisle earned a 181-147 (.552) regular season record and also led the team to three consecutive postseason appearances.
Following his Pacers’ career, he worked briefly as a studio analyst for ESPN before being hired by the Dallas Mavericks as their head coach in 2008. With the Mavericks, Carlisle had his most successful season as a head coach – the 2010-2011 season. Therein, he recorded several wins and led the team to the first Conference Finals victory of his coaching career as well as the franchise’s first ever NBA Championship. He signed a 5-year contract extension with the team on November 5, 2015.
The Mavericks’ super coach was one of the three children (two sons and one daughter) born to Preston and Joan Carlisle. His father introduced him to the game of hoops when he was 8 by taking him to daily pickup basketball games.
Rick Carlisle got married to his girlfriend, Donna Nobile in 2000. They have a daughter, Abigail Claire Carlisle (Abby), born on May 7, 2004. Carlisle enjoys golf, piano and spending time with family.