Pistons name Walters assistant; Werdann to coach Drive

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Orlando, Fla. — As they prepare to start play in the Orlando Summer League, the Pistons made a couple of coaching moves official on Thursday.

Rex Walters was promoted to assistant coach and Rob Werdann was named head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive in the D-League. The Pistons also announced a two-year extension with the Drive as their D-League affiliate.

On the Pistons’ coaching staff, Walters replaces Dave Hopla, whose contract was not renewed after last season.

“Rex brings great basketball knowledge and experience and does a great job of developing young players,” Pistons president Stan Van Gundy said in a team statement. “We were very happy with the way he worked with our young Pistons players last season when they were on assignment in Grand Rapids.

“Rob has a great deal of coaching and scouting experience in the NBA and knows our organization’s culture and philosophy. We believe he will be a great asset to the Drive.”

Walters was the head coach of the Drive last season, leading them to a 26-24 mark. Before that, he coached the University of San Francisco for eight seasons. He also played seven seasons in the NBA with the Nets, Sixers and Heat.

Werdann previously was a scout for the Pistons for three seasons and was an assistant coach with the Idaho Stampede in the D-League. Werdann also was an assistant coach with the Charlotte Bobcats and the Golden State Warriors in 2010-11.