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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) _ Former Indiana Pacers assistant Rick Carlisle was hired Friday as coach of the Detroit Pistons, the team's sixth coach in 10 years.

He replaces George Irvine, who was fired after the Pistons finished the season 32-50. The team had the ninth-worst record in the NBA.

``I think this is a great opportunity for me,'' said Carlisle, who signed a multiyear contract. ``We have an excellent young nucleus in Jerry Stackhouse and Ben Wallace and I think the future of this organization is very promising.''

The 41-year-old Carlisle was a radio analyst for the Seattle SuperSonics this season after spending the previous three years under Larry Bird in Indiana.

``I am very pleased that I have been able to hire a coach the caliber of Rick Carlisle to lead the Pistons into the future,'' Pistons president Joe Dumars said. ``His time in the NBA as an assistant coach has been well-documented and we believe that he will be the person to turn the fortunes of this franchise around.''

Before joining Bird's staff, Carlisle was an assistant in Portland for three seasons and in New Jersey for five seasons.

The Virginia graduate, who was a co-captain on the Cavaliers' 1984 Final Four team, was the only rookie to make the Boston Celtics' roster in 1984.

Carlisle played in Boston for three years, helping the Celtics win the 1986 NBA title. He played with the New York Knicks for one season, coached by Rick Pitino, and was briefly with the Nets in 1989 before Bill Fitch hired him as an assistant. Carlisle also was an assistant under former Pistons coach Chuck Daly in New Jersey.