Dick Versace, former Pacers coach, dead at 81

Pacers logo on the court.

Former Pacers coach Dick Versace died Friday. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Former Indiana Pacers coach and Memphis Grizzlies executive Dick Versace died Friday. He was 81. Versace’s cause of death was not released.

Versace made his coaching mark at Bradley University in Illinois. He led the Braves from 1978 to 1986. In that time, the team won three Missouri Valley Conference Championships. Versace also led the team to an NIT victory.

Versace left Bradley following the 1986 season to join the Detroit Pistons. He spent three years as an assistant with the Pistons before getting a head-coaching job with the Pacers. His most successful stint with the team came during the 1989-90 season. The Pacers went 42-40 and made the playoffs. The team lasted three games in the postseason before getting eliminated.

The Pacers paid tribute to Versace on Twitter on Saturday.

Versace emerged as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks for two seasons before joining the Grizzlies as an executive in 2002. Versace eventually became the Grizzlies’ general manager, serving in the role during the 2004-05 season.

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