Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Deidra Shores
Cordova High School
Memphis Grizzlies Coach David Joerger has been coaching basketball since 1997. He spent a number of years leading minor league teams before becoming an Assistant Coach for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2007 under Head Coach Marc Iavaroni. In 2011, Joerger was promoted Head Assistant Coach for the Grizzlies under then Head Coach Lionel Hollins.
This season, Joerger was promoted to the Grizzlies Head Coach after the departure of Hollins. This new job marked Joeger’s first go as a National Basketball Association head coach.
Joerger has come a long way with basketball, with his relationship with the sport linking back to his childhood.
Coach Joerger grew up in Minnesota and was the son of a basketball coach. He would tag along with his father and go to games and as a result developed a love for the sport at an early age.
Although Joerger played basketball in college (at both Concordia College and Moorhead State University in Minnesota), he said he debated if he wanted to get an education degree and become a high school coach.
He ultimately decided to go in a different direction, but stayed involved with the sport of basketball.
Joerger said the biggest change in going from assistant coach to head coach is making suggestions, and making decisions. He faces the pressure of the decisions he makes affecting the success of his team.
Since he has been coaching since he got out of college, Joerger believes he has had a lifetime of preparation for the role of head coach.
Despite the number of injured players the Grizzlies have had this season, Joerger notes that the only thing they can do is go and play as hard as they can on the court and let the chips fall where they may.
Joerger advised that young men and women who are interested in the sport not limit themselves to just playing or coaching basketball.
Instead he suggested they also seek out careers related to the sport, such as radio reporters, trainers, sales and even public relations.