Tuesday, July 30, 1974
as Lion's coach
BLOOMFIELD HILLS (UPI) - Rick Forzano, who left hi; job
as coach at Navy to join Don McCafferty, was named acting coach
of the Detroit Lions yesterday to succeed his long-time friend
and close associate.
"I don't want congratulations," Forzano, 45, said emotionally
at the news conference announcing his selection. "This comes
at a very sad time in my life. Don McCafferty was a great
person. I'll miss him. It's still a shock to us."
"WE MUST GO on with business," General Manager Russ
Thomas conferred with club owner William Clay Ford, vacation-
ing at East Hampton, N.Y., late Sunday to discuss the possible
McCafferty, 53, collapsed and died of a heart attack Sunday
while working in the back yard of his suburban Detroit home.
A memorial service was held last night with funeral services to
follow tomorrow at his Towson, Md., home. He retained his
Maryland home, where he will be buried, after being fired by the
Baltimore Colts in 1972.
Thomas and Ford passed over assistants Ed Khayat and Bob
Hollway, both of whom had been head coaches in the National
Football League elsewhere, to pick the man who first met Mc-
Cafferty when they worked together on the Kent State coaching
staff in 1957.
THE LIONS DID NOT want to bring someone in from outside
the organization for two reasons. Not too many coaches are avail-
able at this time of year and a new coach would mean a new
system, which the players already went through last season with
the hiring of McCafferty to succeed Joe Schmidt.
"I didn't sleep much last night," Forzano said, "and not because
of thinking about the job. They told me this morning that Russ
Thomas wanted to see me.
"He said, 'Do you want to accept?' I said, 'Yes, I would,' " he
said. 'There were no promises made by either side."
THOMAS STRESSED the temporary nature of the appointment
because of 'the great amount of day-to-day stuff that has to be
taken care of."
'I am the acting coach," Forzano agreed. "Just that. Don't
try to read anything into this thing: I'll tell you this. I am the
football coach. I will act with authority."
Though no contract has been signed, it would be hard to
imagine Detroit disrupting things by selecting another coach until
the end of the season,
"WE WANT to win our opener at Chicago," Forzano said, "beat
Minnesota twice, get to the playoffs, and get to the Super Bowl.
Those are my only objectives."
THE LATE DON McCAFFERTY works with Detroit Lions' rookie quarterbacks Bruce Arthur
(left) and Pat Korsnick during last Saturday's workout at the Lions Cranbrook training camp.
McCafferty died suddenly Sunday afternoon of a heart attack while working in the back yard of
his suburban Birmingham home.
TO MILLIONAIRE FRIEND
Zoilner sells Pistons
DETROIT (UPI)-Fred Zollner, the industrialist the players, and the general manager, we can do
who was one of the founders of the National what the Celtics have done," he said. "We (tht
Basketball Association, yesterday sold the Detroit new owners) see our role as a supporting one."
Pistons for $8.12 million to fellow millionaire Zollner's ownership of the Pistons dates back
William M. Davidson. to the days of industrial league basketball prior
"I have kept faith with the fans and with the to World War II. His teams represented his Fort
press," said Zollner, speaking slowly and care- Wayne, Ind., firm, which made Zollner wealthy
fully as befits a man 73 years old. through the manufacture of pistons for auto
mobiles and industrial use.
"THE THING that pleases me most, after 17 The team made its professional debut in 1941
years in the city of Detroit," he said, "is to have as the Fort Wayne Pistons of the National Basket
as a successor a man who feels the same way ball League.
about the city of Detroit as I do."
Sale of the club is contingent upon the approval
of the NBA Board of Governors. Zollner said he
foresaw no' problem in that regard.
For details on the hiring of three new
assistant coaches and yesterday's baseball
results see page 11.
"I have kent my nromise to the fans," Zollner
said. "I have kept the Pistons in Detroit. I have
kept the owners in Detroit.
"In fact, the new nwner is a neighbor of mine
in Golden Beach, Fla. He lives at 421 Ocean
Beach-less than a block and a half away. The
price is not inflated. Those are the actual figures
according to the best of my calculations."
DAVIDSON, S1 described the consortium as a
"general partnership of limited partners-of
which I am the eneral partner." That means
he is the princinal owner in the nine-person group
which now owns the NBA franchise.
The Pistons' new owner said he planned no
zhanges and woild retain General Manager Ed .
Coil and Coach Pay Scott.
Davidson hads Guardian Ind stries. Corp., a
leading annfa fr-r of glass for the automotive
and architectural industries. Davidson will be
Ahief executive in charge of operations for the
The other miajor titu lot he'ad of the franchise
will be Herbert Tyner, whose title was described
as chief exeitive-administration.
TYNER, 43, is president of Hazel Park race
track outside Detroit.
"We believe for us this presents a unique
opportunity," Davidson said, "No team can be a
success without the support of the fans. I want
this to be like the Boston Celtics. FRED ZOLLNER (left), the originalc
sa-e-otrtILe ITIJA taciet ru
Forzano took charge of his first workout immediately after-
- wards and then talked with quarterback Greg Landry, who drop-
ped into camp.
owner of the Detroit Pistons, smiles while announcing the
headed by his millionaire friend William Davidson. Also
utive for the administration of the Davidson regime.
"I believe with the present setup, the coach,
sale of the NBA franchise to a group
pictured is Herbert Tyner, chief exect