UPDATED: Tony DiLeo will not return as Sixers coach and he will return to the front office as senior vice president/assistant general manager the team announced today after a meeting between DiLeo and 76ers president/general manager Ed Stefanski.
“Tony and I had a meeting scheduled for this afternoon, during which time he informed me of his decision that he would not return as head coach next season,” Stefanski said in a statement. “I want to thank Tony for the commendable job he did this season under some unique and difficult circumstances, including leading us to the playoffs.”
DiLeo was named coach on Dec. 13 and he led the Sixers to a 32-27 (.542) record and the No. 6 seed in the playoffs. The Sixers weer eliminated in six games by Orlando.
Stefanski and DiLeo had agreed after the Sixers were eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Orlando Magic to allow for a week or so of a cooling-down period before they opened discussions about the future. A source familiar with the situation indicated that Stefanski and DiLeo might not reach specific decisions today, but might rather meet again in the near future.
The source indicated that the two parties would also spend time today planning for next season, facing such issues as free agency and the draft.
DiLeo was 32-27 as the coaching replacement for the fired Maurice Cheeks, stepping in from his front office position as senior vice-president/assistant general manager. He was not, however, given a separate contract to coach; Stefanski has said that, if DiLeo were not to remain the coach, he would be welcome to resume his front office duties.
Despite various rumors, Stefanski insisted he had made no contact with any potential coaching candidates.