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Coach Riley To Stay With Heat


Pat Riley, the NBA's second-winningest coach, reached an agreement Wednesday with the Miami Heat that will keep him in charge of the team well into the next century.

In keeping with club policy, no terms of the agreement were disclosed. Riley also serves as team president, overseeing all aspects of the club's operations.

"My family and I have fallen in love with Miami and we hope that this is the final destination of a long coaching journey," Riley said in a statement announcing the deal.

Riley, who came to Miami in 1995 and has taken the Heat to the playoffs in each of his four seasons, has not missed the postseason in 17 seasons as an NBA coach. The Heat is 191-105 during Riley's years with the team.

Miami has won the past three Atlantic Division titles under Riley, who orchestrated trades early in his tenure to land center Alonzo Mourning, and point guard Tim Hardaway.

However, the Heat has suffered first-round playoff exits in each of the past two seasons. This year, the Heat owned the Eastern Conference's best record but became the first East top seed to not reach the second round.

"We have much to do in the coming years, with our main objective forever and always being the building of a championship team," Riley said.

The closest Miami has come to the NBA Finals was in 1997, when they reached the Eastern Conference finals before losing to the eventual champion Chicago Bulls.

"I am delighted that Pat has decided to firmly plant his coaching and family roots here in Miami," Heat managing general partner Micky Arison said. "We have developed a great relationship over the past four years and have found our passion for the game and desire to win a championship for Miami greater than ever."

Riley owns a career record of 947-404, trailing only Lenny Wilkens on the career list. His 149 playoff victories are an NBA record.

Riley coached the Los Angeles Lakers to four NBA championships in the 1980s and also led the New York Knicks to the 1994 finals.

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