PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Tony DiLeo, the starting point guard for
the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles during two years in the mid 70s,
has been named head
coach of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers.
DiLeo was named Saturday to replace Maurice Cheeks after the 76ers faltered with a 9-14 record in the early going of the 2008-09 season.
The naming of DiLeo to the position gives Tennessee Tech connections with head coaches in three of the nation's major sports leagues, joining Marynell Meadors as coach of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream and Mike Smith of the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL.
DiLeo played at Tech as a freshman in the 1973-74 season, and as a sophomore in 1974-75, both under head coach Connie Inman. He transferred to LaSalle in his hometown of Philadelphia for his final two seasons.
Playing in 50 games for the Golden Eagles, DiLeo dished out 272 assists, which ranked as the second-most in school history, only eight behind Wayne Pack?s school record. More than 30 years later, DiLeo's total still ranks 14th in the career record book.
Sixers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced that the team relieved Cheeks of his head coaching responsibilities. DiLeo, currently the team's Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager, will remain in the position through the end of the 2008-09 season.
"Decisions of this nature are never easy, and this was particularly difficult due to the great amount of respect I have for Maurice Cheeks," Stefanski said. "However, at this time I felt that it is in the best interest of this team to make a change while there is still time to accomplish the goals we set forth for ourselves at the start of the season.
"Tony DiLeo has a wealth of basketball knowledge and coaching experience ? both in the NBA and on the international level ? and is familiar not only with our current group of players but the style of play we are striving to attain on a consistent basis."
DiLeo is in his 19th season with the Sixers organization and his fifth as the team?s Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager.
During his tenure with the Sixers, DiLeo has been involved in every aspect of the team's basketball operations. In his role as Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager, DiLeo was responsible for assisting Stefanski with player procurement via his evaluation of amateur and professional talent while supervising the team?s draft efforts and overseeing the college
and professional scouting systems. Prior to that, DiLeo spent four seasons as the Sixers Director of Player Personnel (1999-2003) and has served as an Assistant Coach under Larry Brown, Jim Lynam, Fred Carter, John Lucas and Doug Moe.
DiLeo has extensive experience in international basketball as both a player and a coach. He coached the former West German men's and women's teams from 1979-90, winning nine national titles in that country's top division, earning Coach of the Year honors in 1987. Additionally, he was selected as the West German federation National Coach from 1981-85 and during that time, wrote and published the European Basketball Handbook, a guide designed to
acclimate American players overseas.
A star at Cinnaminson (N.J.) High School, DiLeo went on to play at Tennessee Tech and LaSalle University, where as a junior he was named first-team Academic All-American and went on to graduate maxima cum laude from the LaSalle School of Business.