Terry Porter introduced as new Portland Pilots coach
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Former NBA player and coach Terry Porter has been formally introduced as the new coach at the University of Portland.
The Pilots announced Porter as the team's new head coach late last week, but some 500 fans greeted him on Tuesday at a press conference on the court at the Chiles Center.
''We will perform with passion, perseverance and Portland Pilot pride,'' he said.
Porter replaces Eric Reveno, who was dismissed last month after 10 years with the Pilots.
Porter played for the Blazers from 1985-95, anchoring a team that went to the Western Conference finals three times from 1990 to 1992 and to the NBA Finals twice.
The starters on that team were Porter, Clyde Drexler, Jerome Kersey, Buck Williams and Kevin Duckworth, but the group would never win a title.
In 1990, the Blazers lost to the Detroit Pistons, and in 1992 they couldn't overcome Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
Porter, 52, remains beloved in Portland and the team retired his No. 30 jersey in 2009.
''He is a perfect fit for this community and the University of Portland campus community,'' athletic director Scott Leykam said.
Porter is the third former Trail Blazer to coach the Pilots, joining Larry Steele and Michael Holton.
Porter also played for the Timberwolves, the Heat and Spurs over a 17-year NBA career. A two-time All-Star, he averaged 12.2 points, 5.6 assists and 1.2 steals a game. His 7,160 assists ranked 14th on the NBA's all-time list.
Porter was head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks for two seasons from 2003-2005, for the Phoenix Suns during the 2008-09 season. He had stints as an assistant coach in Minnesota, Sacramento and Detroit.
Porter was the 24th overall pick by the Blazers in the 1985 draft out of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He remains Portland's career leader in assists (5,319) and is its second-leading scorer (11,330). He made a franchise-leading 773 3-pointers on 2,006 attempts.
During his tenure with the Blazers, he averaged 14.9 points and seven assists. He had eight triple-doubles.
Porter said Tuesday he was following in the footsteps of his college coach, Dick Bennett, who shaped his life.
Wearing a purple tie in honor of the team's colors, Porter said he met with each of the returning players on Monday to share his ''vision of the program.'' The Pilots went 12-20 last season, finishing eighth in the West Coast Conference.
He added that recruitment would be key.
''We have to go out, get the players that we need to consistently play at a high level every year, and then continue to graduate them,'' he said.