Former Maverick Jerry Stackhouse has been on the coaching fast track since he retired as a player and on Friday Vanderbilt University made it official by announcing Stackhouse as the school’s new head basketball coach.

Stackhouse has spent this season as an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies. He started his NBA coaching career as an assistant with the Raptors, then became head coach of Toronto’s G-League team, winning a championship in 2017 when he was that league’s coach of the year.

“I’m really happy for him,” Mavericks’ coach Rick Carlisle said. “What an amazing opportunity.

“The thing I really admire about Stack is that he got into coaching and he’s put in the work. He paid the dues. He wanted to coach their G-League team in Toronto so that he could get experience as a head coach. A lot of guys wouldn’t want to do that. That showed real humility and respect for the game. And I think he’ll be an NBA coach at some point.

“And he’s got an iron will. I’m sure he’ll turn it around there.”

Stackhouse, who had an 18-year playing career and was twice an all-star, was with the Mavericks for five seasons, ending in 2009. He was a key contributor on the 2006 team that reached the NBA finals, losing to Miami in six games.

In his five seasons with the Mavericks, he averaged 12.2 points, primarily in a sixth-man role.

Stackhouse agreed to a six-year deal with the Commodores. Interestingly, Vanderbilt’s new athletic director is Malcolm Turner, who was president of the G-League when Stackhouse was taking the Raptors’ affiliate to the title.

Turner, like Stackhouse, is a North Carolina native.

Stackhouse, who was on the Grizzlies bench for Friday night’s 122-112 victory over the Mavericks, did not wish to talk about his new job after the game, saying only that he’s very excited about the opportunity and that being a head coach has been a dream for years.

In a statement issued through the university, he said: “I look forward to furthering Vanderbilt’s unique approach to athletics – blending a powerhouse competitive spirit and elite academics to holistically develop talented student-athletes and celebrate victories on and off the court.”

Dirk Nowitzki was teammates with Stackhouse through some of the Mavericks’ best seasons and he said he’s not surprised he’s risen to head-coaching status in a relatively short amount of time since retiring.

“I think he’s got a great coaching mind already,” Nowitzki said. “He was great with the Toronto G-League team. He won a championship there. And he’s got that charisma to be a good coach. I wish him nothing but the best.”

Said Mavericks’ president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson: “I couldn’t be happier for Stack. He’ll do a great job there.”

Twitter: @ESefko

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