MIAMI (AP) — Pat Riley will be coaching the Miami Heat when their NBA championship banner is raised.
Riley said Wednesday he’ll return as coach for the 2006-07 season, ending speculation he might retire at age 61. He led the Heat to their first league title — and his seventh as a coach or player — in June.
Riley is second to Lenny Wilkens with 1,322 coaching victories, including 171 in the postseason. Riley, who is also Heat president, returned to the sideline last Dec. 12 when Stan Van Gundy resigned as coach for personal reasons.
The Heat said Riley was unavailable to the media.
Under Riley, the Heat went 41-20 this past regular season, then beat Chicago, New Jersey, Detroit and Dallas in the playoffs.
It was Riley’s fifth NBA title as a head coach — he won two as a player — but his first since taking the “Showtime”-era Los Angeles Lakers to the 1988 title.
The title provided vindication for Riley, widely questioned after shaking up the roster a year ago and then returning as coach when Van Gundy resigned.