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Irvine Goes From Coach to the Pacer Front Office

July 30, 1986|Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Saying he wanted to spend more time with his family, George Irvine announced his resignation Tuesday as basketball coach of the Indiana Pacers to assume the role of director of player personnel for the National Basketball Assn. team.

"The reason I'm leaving coaching is basically a personal one," Irvine told a news conference at Market Square Arena. "I want to spend more time with my family. My children are of an age that I want to be with them."

Irvine, 38, said he put himself up for the job as director of player personnel when he discussed possible candidates for the position with General Manager Donnie Walsh, his former assistant coach.

"When I realized what he was looking for, the kind of people he was talking about and the role of responsibility within that job, I asked him if he would consider me for the job," he said.

The Pacers compiled a 48-116 record during Irvine's two years as head coach. He joined the organization before the 1980-81 season and spent three years as an assistant coach to Jack McKinney before moving into the front office as vice president and director of basketball.

"The opportunity to move back into a front-office position is one that doesn't often come up," said Irvine, who assumes the position vacated by Tom Newell, who resigned earlier this summer to become an assistant coach with the Seattle SuperSonics.

"I enjoy being with my family and I was missing out, and I didn't like it," he said. "I would not have left coaching and the Pacers for another organization or to get out of basketball, but frankly I've spent two very tough years in building us."

The Pacers finished 22-60 in Irvine's first season--the worst in the NBA--and were 26-56 last season.

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