DETROIT -- Even by the Detroit Pistons recent standards, this was an abrupt change. Asdrubal Cabrera Jersey . Detroit fired coach Maurice Cheeks on Sunday after less than a year as coach, with the Pistons languishing well below .500 despite off-season moves aimed at putting the struggling franchise back in contention. Detroit is 21-29, and although the Pistons still have a decent chance to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, their new roster has performed erratically. "This was a difficult decision for the organization to make but we needed to make a change," team president Joe Dumars said in a statement. "We have great respect for Maurice and appreciate his hard work." A person with knowledge of Detroits plans said assistant John Loyer will take over as interim coach. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced an interim coach yet. The Pistons havent made the playoffs since being swept in the first round in 2009 -- in Michael Currys only season as their coach. Since then, Detroit has gone through two seasons under John Kuester and two under Lawrence Frank. After neither of them could make any real progress, Cheeks was brought in as Detroits ninth coach since the 1999-2000 season. In addition to hiring Cheeks last off-season, Detroit signed forward Josh Smith and traded for point guard Brandon Jennings, trying to bolster a roster that already included young big men Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. But the mix has been uninspiring for the most part. The Pistons have had problems defensively and have struggled to close out games in the fourth quarter. The poor attendance thats become commonplace at The Palace hasnt really improved -- and Detroits 11-15 home record hasnt helped. "Our record does not reflect our talent and we simply need a change," Pistons owner Tom Gores said Sunday. "We have not made the kind of progress that we should have over the first half of the season. This is a young team and we knew there would be growing pains, but we can be patient only as long as there is progress." Detroit is only a half-game out of the final playoff spot in the East, but thats largely because so many teams in the conference are having similar problems. The Pistons are only three games better than they were after 50 games last season. Cheeks became the first coach to leave or be fired after 50 games or fewer with an NBA team since Bob Weiss, who coached only 30 games for Seattle in 2005-06, according to STATS. That does not include interim coaches. "The responsibility does not fall squarely on any one individual, but right now this change is a necessary step toward turning this thing around," Gores said. "I still have a lot of hope for this season and I expect our players to step up. I respect and appreciate Maurice Cheeks and thank him for his efforts; we just require a different approach." The Pistons have won four of six, including back-to-back blowouts at home against Brooklyn and Denver on Friday and Saturday. They host San Antonio on Monday night, and the team has not made any announcement about who will coach that game. Cheeks previously coached Portland and Philadelphia, a team he won an NBA title with as a point guard. The Pistons gave him his third shot to be an NBA head coach in June. Gores was in attendance at a recent game and said he thought the team was better than its record. "Im not satisfied. Our job is to make sure that our players are at their maximum," Gores said after that Feb. 1 game against Philadelphia. "Im not satisfied with the job Im doing. Im not satisfied with the job anyone is doing." At that point, speculation centred around the upcoming trade deadline and the possibility that Detroit might shake up its roster again. Now, the Pistons are hoping another coaching change can improve the franchises outlook. Detroit made the conference finals six straight years from 2003-08, but the teams fall was swift after that, and rebuilding has been difficult. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Pistons championship in 2004 -- and the atmosphere at The Palace could hardly be more different. "Were focused on how to make our players the best," Gores said earlier this month. "I dont think weve done our best job of making sure they are at their best. They are working at 100 per cent, but these are young men who need a lot of preparation." The Pistons became the third major pro team in Detroit to make a coaching or managerial change in the past six months. Jim Leyland of the Tigers stepped down and was replaced by Brad Ausmus after last season, and the Lions fired Jim Schwartz in late December, eventually replacing him with Jim Caldwell. So Ausmus, who has yet to manage a game, is now the second-longest tenured manager or coach of the citys four major pro teams. Yahoo Sports first reported Cheeks firing. Wilmer Flores Jersey . -- Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich is expected to miss the rest of the regular season after having an operation on a groin muscle. Custom New York Mets Jerseys . The Big Man finished 3-1 in Week 19, and sits at 53-24 on the season. Now Schultz is ready for more action. COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolinas Steve Spurrier has received a one-year contract extension and a raise that will pay the coach $4 million annually. The university board of trustees approved a $700,000 raise and the extension Thursday. The deal ties Spurrier to the school through 2018. If the 68-year-old coach decides to retire, the trustees voted for a contract clause that would make Spurrier a special assistant to university President Harris Pastides and athletic director Ray Tanner. With the raise, Spurrier becomes one of the top 10 highest-paid college football coaches in the country. Spurriers nine assistant coaches also received raises that put their combined compensation at $3.3 million, up from the $2.7 the group earned this past season. All assistants were given new two-year contract agreements except for defensive co-ordinator Lorenzo Ward, who received a three-year deal. Also earning a raise was quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus, whose salary was frozen for a year after his arrest for urinating in public. Mangus salary increased $100,000 to $275,000. Ward will be the highest-paid assistant at $750,000, a $100,000 raise. The biggest boost came for offensive line coach Shawn Elliott, who saw his compensation rise from $305,000 to $430,000 next fall. Spurrier thanked Pastides, Tanner and the board for the new contracts and raises. "We all hope to coach here many more years and we still have some goals that have not been accomplished yet," he said. Spurrier led the Gamecocks to a third-straight 11-2 season. Before he arrived in 2004, South Carolina had only one 10-win season in history. "It was a fun year. I tell you what, our players found a way to win all these games," Spurrier said. "We didnt clobber a lot of people. These guys know how to play in the fourth quarter." Tanner said he talked with Spurrier about the new deals shortly after South Carolinas 31-17 victory over Clemson on Nov. 30 -- the Gamecocks record--setting fifth straight over their rivals. Zack Wheeler Jersey. Spurrier was most concerned about making sure his assistants were adequately compensated, Tanner said. The coach talked about raises on his call-in show Wednesday night, saying Tanner "has done a super job of (saying), Hey, whats right and how can we aligned in the SEC competitive wise with coaches salaries? The president and from what I am hearing the Board of Trustees think that keeps us where we should be." It would also mean be the first time in Spurriers nine seasons the assistants he finished one season with all returned for the next one. Tanner, the two-time national championship baseball coach turned head administrator, said it was his thought to add the clause about Spurrier remaining with the school after he leaves as football coach. Spurrier told Tanner he has enjoyed living in Columbia and planned to stay when his time on the field was finished. The post-football position is based on Spurrier maintaining a residence in town and either Pastides or Tanner remaining in their current positions. Tanner stressed the special assistant spot was not an exit strategy for Spurrier, wholl be 73 should he stay for the length of the deal. "Age is just a number," Tanner said. Right now, leaving the field seems as far from Spurriers mind as possible. Spurrier has said he didnt plan on coaching into his 80s like Florida States Bobby Bowden and the late Joe Paterno at Penn State, and the Capital One Bowl victory over Wisconsin was his 300th game as a college coach. Still, the schools all-time wins leader said hes excited about the success the team has had the past few years and anxious to see what else they can achieve. "If you continue doing what you did in your 50s, then the age factor doesnt kick in," Spurrier said on his radio show. "It doesnt kick in until you dont know what you are doing. Hopefully, I still know what is happening out there." Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '