LOS ANGELES, MAY 25 -- As new coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, Mike Schuler expects big changes -- he wants the team to win right away.
"It's a big day in my life to have the opportunity to coach this team," Schuler, 49, said.
Schuler, the NBA's coach of the year three seasons ago, and assistant to Don Nelson with the Golden State Warriors last season, signed a four-year contract. He succeeds Don Casey, who was fired last month after a 41-85 record in 1 1/2 seasons as head coach. The Clippers had their best record in four years (30-52) this past season, but have not made the playoffs since 1976 while playing in Buffalo.
"I'll be very disappointed if we don't make the playoffs next year," said Schuler, who said his assistants will be hired later.
Schuler was coach of the Portland Trail Blazers for slightly more than 2 1/2 seasons. He was fired Feb. 18, 1989, over reported personality conflicts with some players.
Schuler was the coach of the year his first season at Portland (1986-87), when the Trail Blazers went 49-33. They were 127-83 (.605 winning percentage) under Schuler.