AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Detroit Pistons Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy announced today that the team has named Jeff Bower as general manager. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“I’m pleased to welcome Jeff Bower to the Detroit Pistons organization,” said Van Gundy. “Jeff brings great basketball knowledge and NBA experience to our organization and he’s enjoyed success in building teams. He’s a great evaluator of talent and Jeff will bring solid leadership to our front office.”
Bower joins the Pistons organization with 30-plus years of NBA and collegiate basketball experience. He served two terms as general manager of the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets from 2001-03 and 2005-10. He first joined the Hornets organization in 1995 as an advance scout and was promoted to director of scouting/assistant coach after two years. Bower was the team’s assistant general manager for the 2000-01 season and was named general manager on June 4, 2001. After two years as general manager, Bower was named as an assistant coach (2003-04) and director of player personnel (2004-05) before taking over as general manager again in 2005.
Bower’s tenure with the Hornets included the drafting of four future NBA All-Stars including Baron Davis (1999, third pick), Jamaal Magloire (2000, 19th pick), David West (2003, 18th pick) and Chris Paul (2005, fourth pick). He’s credited with rebuilding the Hornets franchise in wake of Hurricane Katrina which forced the Hornets to temporarily relocate to Oklahoma City from 2005-07. His 2007-08 Hornets team set a franchise record with 56 regular-season wins, won its only division title and advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals where they took the San Antonio Spurs to seven games. The Hornets made four playoff appearances under his leadership.
“I’m excited to join the Pistons organization and play a role in helping this franchise build on its great basketball tradition,” said Bower. “I look forward to working with Stan, his staff and everyone in the Pistons organization to put together a team that the community can support and be proud of. I’m also excited about ownership’s commitment to winning and their demonstrated commitment to the community.”
A native of Hollidaysburg, PA, Bower spent last season as head coach at Marist College. He began his basketball career as an assistant coach at Penn State University from 1983-86. He then moved to Marist College as an assistant coach (1986-90) and then associate head coach (1990-95). He helped the Red Foxes to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1987 and won the ECAC Metro Conference regular-season championship in 1987 and 1988. During that time, he aided in the development of Rik Smits, who would go on to become the second overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers.
Bower holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history/education from St. Francis College, PA.