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Dave Joerger

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Dave Joerger
Joerger in December 2015
Milwaukee Bucks
PositionAssistant coach
Personal information
Born (1974-02-21) February 21, 1974 (age 50)
Staples, Minnesota, U.S.
Career information
High schoolStaples-Motley (Staples, Minnesota)
Coaching career1997–present
Career history
As coach:
1997–2000Dakota Wizards (assistant)
2000–2004Dakota Wizards
2004Cedar Rapids River Raiders
2004–2006Sioux Falls Skyforce
2006–2007Dakota Wizards
20072013Memphis Grizzlies (assistant)
20132016Memphis Grizzlies
20162019Sacramento Kings
20202023Philadelphia 76ers (assistant)
2024–presentMilwaukee Bucks (assistant)
Career highlights and awards

David Joerger (/ˈjɡər/ [YAY-ger])[1] (born February 21, 1974) is an American professional basketball coach who currently serves as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks. He was the head coach of the Dakota Wizards from 2000 to 2004 and in 2006–2007 in the International Basketball Association, Continental Basketball Association, and the NBA Development League, winning championships in 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2007. He also coached the Sioux Falls Skyforce from 2004 to 2006, winning a championship in 2005. In the NBA, Joerger served as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies from 2013 to 2016, and Sacramento Kings from 2016 to 2019.

Early coaching career[edit]

After a playing career at Concordia College and Moorhead State (now known as Minnesota State University Moorhead),[2] Joerger joined the Dakota Wizards of the International Basketball Association as the team's general manager.[3] He became the team's assistant coach in 1997 and eventually took over as the head coach for the 2000–01 IBA season. Joerger had immediate success as a head coach, leading his team to a 30–10 regular season record. After being down 0–2 in the IBA Finals best-of-5 series, the Wizards came back to defeat the Des Moines Dragons 3–2, winning their first championship.[4]

IBA to CBA[edit]

Joerger remained with the Wizards as IBA, IBL, and CBA teams merged to create the new Continental Basketball Association after the league declared bankruptcy under the ownership of Isiah Thomas. As a former IBA team, the Wizards were declared "lower-tier" in the 2001–02 season and were given a shorter schedule with two other former IBA teams and an expansion team to make up the National Conference. With Joerger at the helm, the Wizards finished with a league-leading 26–14 record. For his success, Joerger was named the CBA Coach of the Year. After sweeping the Fargo-Moorhead Beez 3–0 in the conference finals, Joerger won his first CBA championship as his team defeated the Rockford Lightning 116–109 in a winner-take-all championship game.[5]

Joerger continued to have success with the Wizards in the CBA, reaching the conference finals with a league-leading 31–17 regular season record in 2002–03 before losing to the Yakima Sun Kings 3–1.[6] Throughout the 2003–04 season, Joerger lost six players to NBA call-ups, which included Sean Lampley, Oliver Miller, Kaniel Dickens, Maurice Carter, Eddie Gill, and Rodney Buford.[7] Despite losing talent, Joerger still managed to coach his team to a league-best 34–14 regular season record, and was again named the CBA Coach of the Year.[8] With Dickens and Carter back from the NBA, the Wizards defeated the Rockford Lightning 3–1 in the semi-finals and won their second CBA championship with a 132–129 victory over the Idaho Stampede.[9]

Following another championship season and a stint with the USBL's Cedar Rapids River Raiders,[10] Joerger left the Wizards for an opportunity to coach the Sioux Falls Skyforce. With the Skyforce, a franchise that had missed the play-offs the past few seasons, Joerger had immediate success, guiding them to a 31–17 record and faced off against his former assistant, Casey Owens, and the Dakota Wizards in the conference finals. In 5 games, the Skyforce came out on top and went on to defeat the Rockford Lightning 3–1 for the 2004–05 CBA championship.[11] In the 2005–06 season, despite going 2–0 in a round-robin playoff format based on quarter point percentage, Joerger missed out on just his second championship as a head coach after a 30–18 regular season.

CBA to D-League[edit]

In April 2006, the Skyforce, the Wizards, and the Idaho Stampede made the jump from the CBA to the NBA Development League.[12] In May, Joerger left the Skyforce and returned to the Wizards as the head coach once again. As expected, Joerger had immediate success in the D-League, guiding the Wizards to a league-best 33–17 record. After a first round bye, Joerger's team knocked off the Skyforce 115–113 in a one-and-done semi-final and went on to defeat the Colorado 14ers 129–121 in a classic overtime championship game.[13]


Memphis Grizzlies[edit]

With five minor league championships under his belt, the National Basketball Association finally took notice and Joerger was hired by the Memphis Grizzlies as an assistant coach for the 2007–08 season under head coach Marc Iavaroni. In 2011, under Lionel Hollins, Joerger was promoted to lead assistant and took over as the team's defense specialist. The Grizzlies improved in defensive efficiency from 24th overall in 2010 to 9th in 2011, 7th in 2012, and 2nd in 2013.[14]

On June 10, 2013, the Grizzlies organization announced that Lionel Hollins would not be returning as the team's head coach, despite reaching the conference finals for the first time in franchise history.[15] On June 27, 2013, Joerger was hired as the Grizzlies' head coach for the 2013–14 season.[16]

In his first year, Joerger was named the Western Conference Coach of the Month in both January and April.[17][18]

On May 28, 2014, it was announced that Joerger was signed to a 3-year contract extension.[19] On May 7, 2016, Joerger was fired by the Grizzlies after three seasons as the team's head coach.[20]

Sacramento Kings[edit]

On May 9, 2016, just two days after being fired by the Grizzlies, Joerger signed with the Sacramento Kings to become their head coach.[21] On April 11, 2019, the Kings fired Joerger after the team failed to reach the playoffs in three seasons under Joerger; in his last season as coach, the Kings had their best record since they last reached the playoffs in the 2005–06 season.[22][23]

Philadelphia 76ers[edit]

On November 9, 2020, the Philadelphia 76ers hired Joerger as an assistant coach under Doc Rivers.[24]

A few games into the 2021–2022 season, it was reported that Joerger would be seeking treatment for cancer, and would be away from the team for several weeks.[25]

Cleveland Cavaliers[edit]

Shortly before the start of the 2023-24 NBA season, Joerger joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as a consultant to head coach J.B. Bickerstaff.[26]

Milwaukee Bucks[edit]

In January 2024 Joerger was added to the Milwaukee Bucks staff as an assistant coach by Doc Rivers who was brought in as Head Coach of Milwaukee in mid-season. Joerger had previously been an assistant under Doc Rivers in Philadelphia. [27]

Head coaching record[edit]

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Memphis 2013–14 82 50 32 .610 3rd in Southwest 7 3 4 .429 Lost in First round
Memphis 2014–15 82 55 27 .671 2nd in Southwest 11 6 5 .545 Lost in Conference semifinals
Memphis 2015–16 82 42 40 .512 3rd in Southwest 4 0 4 .000 Lost in First round
Sacramento 2016–17 82 32 50 .390 3rd in Pacific Missed playoffs
Sacramento 2017–18 82 27 55 .329 4th in Pacific Missed playoffs
Sacramento 2018–19 82 39 43 .476 3rd in Pacific Missed playoffs
Career 492 245 247 .498 22 9 13 .409


  1. ^ Grizzlies hire David Joerger as Head Coach
  2. ^ Ex-Dragon promoted to coaching spot on NBA bench
  3. ^ "Dave Joerger". NBA.com. Archived from the original on March 29, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  4. ^ Tribune sports staff picks for top five area stories of 2001
  5. ^ Champs again: Wizards follow IBA title with CBA crown
  6. ^ Wizards fall in Yakima
  7. ^ Earning his pay as a coach
  8. ^ Dakota's Dave Joerger named 2003–04 CBA Coach of the Year
  9. ^ Close, and a victory cigar, as Wizards take title
  10. ^ Wizards coach adding Cedar Rapids job to resume
  11. ^ Skyforce win decisive Game 5
  12. ^ D-League means big changes for Wizards
  13. ^ Rice to the rescue for Wizards
  14. ^ Who's ready to be an NBA head coach?
  15. ^ Lionel Hollins, Grizzlies part ways
  16. ^ Grizzlies hire Dave Joerger as Head Coach
  17. ^ "Nets' Kidd, Grizzlies' Joerger named Coaches of Month". NBA.com. February 3, 2014. Archived from the original on May 23, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  18. ^ "Coach Joerger earns second career Coach of the Month award". NBA.com. April 18, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  19. ^ "Grizzlies sign Head Coach Joerger to contract extension". NBA.com. May 28, 2014.
  20. ^ "Grizzlies announce changes to coaching staff". NBA.com. May 7, 2016. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  21. ^ "Kings Name Dave Joerger Head Coach". NBA.com. May 9, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  22. ^ "Dave Joerger Relieved as Kings Head Coach". NBA.com. April 11, 2019. Archived from the original on April 11, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  23. ^ "Joerger done in Sacramento after three seasons". NBA.com. April 11, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  24. ^ "Team Announces 2020–21 Coaching Staff". NBA.com. November 9, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  25. ^ Wojnarowski, Adrian (November 13, 2021). "Philadelphia 76ers top assistant Dave Joerger stepping away to undergo treatments for cancer". ESPN. Retrieved December 17, 2021.
  26. ^ Davies, Spencer (October 24, 2023). "Former NBA Head Coach To Assist Cavs In Consultant Role". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  27. ^ Gross, Jackson (January 26, 2024). "Bucks coaching update: Doc's contract, Joerger and Kalamian join Rivers' staff". Brewhoop.com. Retrieved May 21, 2024.

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