Detroit Pistons assistant coach John Loyer has been named interim head coach following the firing of Maurice Cheeks on Sunday, and reports indicate Loyer will stay in place for the rest of the season.
The firing of Cheeks and promotion of Loyer was made official by the Pistons, but there has been speculation that the interim tag on Loyer would be short lived and the team would quickly move to hire a more permanent replacement with all signs pointing toward former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins.
However, Adrian Wojnarowski indicates that Loyer has been tabbed to coach the Pistons for the rest of the 2013-14 season and no longer-term replacement will be sought. Instead, an official coach search will begin after the season.
Loyer is a career NBA assistant and is known as a quality defensive coach. He was hired in Detroit by former head coach Lawrence Frank and retained by now former coach Maurice Cheeks. Loyer had been an assistant on Frank's Nets and had served under Cheeks in both Portland and Philadelphia. Loyer was also a longtime assistant at the University of Cincinnati under coach Bob Huggins.
His last head coaching stint was in 2000 at Wabash Valley College.
Prior to his appointment with the Nets, Loyer spent four seasons in the same position for the Philadelphia 76ers . He was a member of the Portland Trail Blazers organization for a total of five seasons as the team's video coordinator (2000-01), advance scout (2001-03) and assistant coach (2003-05).
Before joining the Trail Blazers staff in 2000, Loyer spent 12 years in the collegiate coaching ranks with stops at Wabash Valley College (1999-00), University of Akron (1987-89) and the University of Cincinnati (1989-99) . He was an assistant at Cincinnati for 10 years during which time the Bearcats made it to the Final Four once and twice to the Elite Eight.
Overall, while an assistant coach on the college level, teams he worked with posted a 234-86 ( .731) record . The team Loyer recruited at Wabash Valley College went on to win the 2001 National Junior College championship.
A 1988 graduate of the University of Akron, Loyer was a four-year letterman in basketball and earned a degree in social studies . He and his wife Katie have three children, sons Foster and Fletcher, and daughter, Jersey.
Prior to the season, Pistons GM Joe Dumars reached out to Hollins in an effort to get him to join the coaching staff as an assistant. Reports when Cheeks was first fired indicated the decision was Gores', with Dumars in favor of giving Cheeks more time to let the odd pieces on the Pistons roster fit. Gores, however, seems to have seen enough.
Shortly after the firing of Cheeks there were reports that both the Pistons and Hollins were interested in discussing the new head coaching vacancy in Detroit. If Wojnarowski is correct (hint: he always is), then Loyer is the man for the rest of the season, and that at least indicates that Tom Gores is the one driving this process and Dumars has officially reached lame duck status.