The extended family of the Detroit Pistons has experienced a loss this afternoon with the passing of former assistant coach Dick Versace at the age of 81.
— Freep Sports (@freepsports) February 26, 2022Featured Videos
Versace served as an assistant with Detroit under head coach Chuck Daly for three seasons. He would later serve as head coach of the Indiana Pacers, finishing his tenure with a 73-87 record in parts of three seasons.
Later in his career, he’d serve as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks before moving into the Vancouver Grizzlies front office, where he would serve as president of Basketball Operations and then eventually GM.
The news of Versace’s passing was confirmed by the Twitter feed of the Bradly Braves, whom Versace also coached from 1978 to 1986, picking up 156 victories for 5th all time in school history. Versace also led the Braves to two NCAA Tournament appearances in 1980 and 1986, as well as an NIT championship in 1982.
“Our thoughts are with the family of former Bradley head coach Dick Versace as the two-time MVC Coach of the Year who led BU from 1978 to 1986 passed away at the age of 81 on Friday,” read the statement.
Our thoughts are with the family of former Bradley head coach Dick Versace as the two-time MVC Coach of the Year who led BU from 1978 to 1986 passed away at the age of 81 on Fridayhttps://t.co/wvqsaFxFYK pic.twitter.com/B4MTjFhiPy
— Bradley Basketball (@bradleyumbb) February 26, 2022
“[Versace] had an immediate impact on campus as he became the first coach in conference history to lead a program from last one season to first the next as the Braves swept the league titles in just his second season in 1980,” said the Braves.
Following the news of his passing, tributes began appearing on social media.
Radio personality Mike North wrote: “A man who was flamboyant and a heck of a basketball coach and former Gordon tech and Bradley head coach and numerous other things Dick Versace gone at 81???? #rip coach #chicago.”
Head coach at UC Davis Jim Les said: “’A good coach can change a game… A great coach can change a life.’ RIP Coach Versace.”
– – Quotes via The Sun Link – –