Rex Walters named to Pistons coaching staff

Rex Walters (Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

For the second year in a row, the head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive, the NBA G League affiliate of the Detroit Pistons, has received a call-up to the sidelines for Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy.

One year after former Drive coach Otis Smith made the transition from Beer City, USA to the Motor City, Rex Walters will be following in his footsteps and making the move to the NBA bench.

“We were very happy with the way he worked with our young Pistons players last season”

“We’re pleased to announce the addition of Rex Walters to our Pistons staff and to name Rob Werdann as head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive,” Van Gundy, who is also president of basketball operations, told the media.  “Rex brings great basketball knowledge and experience and does a great job of developing young players.  We were very happy with the way he worked with our young Pistons players last season when they were on assignment in Grand Rapids.”

RexWalters photo by Rich Clarkson
Rex Walters, Kansas Jayhawks, holds off UNC’s Derrick Phelps at the 1993 NCAA Final Four at the Superdome (photo credit: Rich Clarkson/

Walters led the team to a 26-24 (.520) record, just missing out on the playoffs. Prior to his time in Grand Rapids, he spent eight seasons as head coach of the men’s basketball team at the University of San Francisco.  Walters led the Dons to two 20-win seasons, two postseason appearances and finished in the top three of the West Coast Conference twice.  During the 2013-14 season, the team earned a berth in the National Invitation Tournament and Walters was named West Coast Conference Coach of the Year. He led USF to a 126-125 record during his tenure. He also coached at Florida Atlantic University.

Originally from Omaha, NE, Walters, who attended the University of Kansas, was drafted 16th overall in the 1993 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets. He played seven seasons with the Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat, averaging 4.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 335 career NBA games.