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Grizzlies ink coach Dave Joerger to contract extension

(Joe Murphy/Getty Images) Dave Joerger is the 12th head coach in Grizzlies franchise history. (Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

The Grizzlies announced Tuesday that coach Dave Joerger has signed a contract extension.

The Memphis Commercial-Appeal reports that Joerger had two guaranteed years and a team option for the 2016-17 season on his previous contract. The extension calls for three guaranteed years and a 2017-18 team option.

Joerger's new deal comes days after he interviewed for the Timberwolves' head coaching position, which opened after Rick Adelman retired. The Timberwolves and Joerger, a Minnesota native, were reportedly close to reaching a deal after Grizzlies owner Robert Pera agreed to let Joerger interview for the position.

CBSSports.com and Yahoo Sports both reported Sunday that Pera eventually convinced Joerger to remain with the Grizzlies, who parted ways with CEO Jason Levien and assistant GM Stu Lash in a front-office shake-up earlier this week. Chris Wallace is serving as the franchise's interim GM, but the Grizzlies plan to conduct an executive search to explore their options.

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“I am excited to announce that we have reached an agreement to extend Dave Joerger as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies,” Pera said in a statement. “Following an open and honest dialogue with Dave, it became clear that Dave was fully committed to Memphis and we are committed to him. I look forward to seeing Dave build upon the foundation he helped establish over the last seven years, and we are both committed to bringing a championship to Memphis.”

Joerger succeeded Lionel Hollins as coach of the Grizzlies last summer, and he led Memphis to a 50-32 record in his first season as an NBA head coach. The Grizzlies were eliminated by the Thunder in seven games in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

Prior to his appointment as head coach, the 40-year-old Joerger had been a Grizzlies assistant since 2007. He spent the previous decade as a minor-league basketball coach in the International Basketball Association, the Continental Basketball Association and the D-League.

“I am absolutely thrilled to continue as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies for years to come,” Joerger said. “I want to thank Robert Pera for believing in me. I look forward to building on the success we experienced this year with our core group of players that I have worked closely with over the past seven years as we work towards our ultimate goal of winning a world championship. I am 100 percent committed to leading the Grizzlies and I could not be more proud to call Memphis home.”

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