Assistant coach Dave Joerger is returning to the Sixers‘ bench on a full-time basis, the team announced today in a press release.
Joerger had been away from the club since November 13, having been treated for what was said to be a form of “head and neck” cancer. According to today’s announcement, Joerger’s treatments concluded in mid-December and he’ll be with the team while he continues to recover.
“Words can’t describe how grateful I am to be back around this basketball team,” Joerger said in a statement. “The last several months have been some of the most challenging of my life, but I am so lucky to have the support of Josh Harris, David Blitzer, Doc Rivers, Daryl Morey, Elton Brand and the entire 76ers organization. Their support, along with my wife Kimberly, and my loving family, has been unwavering.”
It’s great news for the Sixers and for Joerger, who said in November when he first announced his diagnosis that he was fortunate to have caught the disease early.
A former head coach in Memphis and Sacramento, Joerger joined the Sixers’ staff during the 2020 offseason and has been Rivers’ lead assistant since then. Joerger likely would’ve taken the reins as Philadelphia’s acting head coach in late December and early January when Rivers entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, but he was still away from the team at that time, so assistant Dan Burke temporarily replaced Rivers on the 76ers’ sidelines.