DALLAS (AP) -The Dallas Mavericks made it official Saturday, announcing they had hired Rick Carlisle to replace Avery Johnson as their coach.
Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks' president of basketball operations, said in a statement that Carlisle was ``our top choice from the onset.''
``His integrity, exceptional basketball IQ and balanced approach are exactly what we were looking for,'' Nelson said. ``Rick's playoff experience and success make him a great fit for our team and its future.''
A news conference is expected Wednesday, when owner Mark Cuban returns to Dallas.
Carlisle was the only candidate the Mavericks interviewed after firing Johnson the morning after their second straight first-round playoff exit.
This is Carlisle's third time as head coach and his first stint in the Western Conference. He went 281-211 over two seasons in Detroit, then four in Indiana. He made the playoffs his first five years, then lost his job with the Pacers after missing out in 2007.
Carlisle spent this past year out of the NBA, but following it closely working for ESPN.
A native of upstate New York, Carlisle was the co-captain of the Virginia team that made the Final Four in 1984, the year after Ralph Sampson left. He was a first-round pick of the Boston Celtics and was a backup on their 1986 championship team.
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