Mike Woodson, Kelvin Sampson Emerge As Pistons' Coach Candidates After John Kuester Is Fired

Former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson and successful college coach Kelvin Sampson are the early top contenders for the newly open Detroit Pistons head coach position, vacant after the team fired John Kuester on Sunday, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

Woodson has previously worked with Joe Dumars in Detroit, as a longtime assistant coach under Larry Brown; Woodson was on the staff that claimed the 2004 NBA Championship. He coached the Hawks for six seasons, taking the team from the high lottery to, eventually, a No. 3 seed in playoffs in 2010. But Atlanta was smoked by the Orlando Magic in four inglorious games in the second round in '10, and Atlanta elected to replace Woodson with his top assistant Larry Drew. In 2011, the Hawks had a less successful regular season, but beat the Magic in the playoffs and challenged the Chicago Bulls in the second round.

Sampson has served as an assistant under Scott Skiles with the Milwaukee Bucks for two seasons. Previous to that, he excelled as a college coach at Oklahoma and Indiana. His NCAA career disappeared under serious allegations of recruiting violations at Indiana in 2008; he was handed a five-year show cause order that prevents any NCAA team from hiring him until 2013. The Hoosiers were placed on three years of probation, and Sampson was jettisonned mid-season. He almost immediately moved to the NBA, where he became a consultant for the Spurs before being hired by Skiles.

Kuester was fired after two rough seasons in Detroit, where the Pistons went 57-107 under his watch. He's reportedly on his way to L.A. to be an assistant under Mike Brown for the Lakers.

For more on the Pistons' coaching search, visit Detroit Bad Boys and SB Nation Detroit.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.