Corliss Williamson is headed back to the NBA.
"The Big Nasty," as he was called back in his playing days while starring at Arkansas and later in the NBA, has left his head coaching job at Central Arkansas after three seasons to join the Sacramento Kings as an assistant coach.
"I honestly couldn't see myself leaving for any situation other than an opportunity to go back to Sacramento," Williamson said in a statement released by the school. "It's a place where I cut my teeth as a rookie in the NBA, spent over half of my career there. It's an area that reminds me a lot of Arkansas, with the people, the fans they have there. It's just a great opportunity that I have now to return there and be able to coach at the highest level."
His return to the NBA was earlier reported by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Williamson won an NCAA title in 1994 with Arkansas and also an NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons. He was the 13th pick in the 1995 NBA draft by the Kings. He spent five years with the organization and played a total of 12 seasons in the NBA. He was the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year while with the Pistons from 2001-02.
Williamson took over at Central Arkansas in 2010 after three years at Arkansas Baptist College. He led the program to a 26-62 mark in three seasons -- including the Bears' first Southland Conference tournament appearance last year.
He will join new coach Mike Malone's staff in Sacramento -- which also includes former Ohio State assistant Chris Jent.
Williamson played for 12 seasons in the NBA, retiring in 2007. He played for the Kings from 1995-2000 and 2005-07.
Central Arkansas associate head coach Clarence Finley will take over on an interim basis for the upcoming season, with the program seeking a long-term hire after 2013-14.
"His hard work is now showing in the level of talent and character his student-athletes bring to our program," athletic director Brad Teague said of Williamson. "We appreciate all he has done for UCA basketball to lay a foundation for future success. The Sacramento Kings will now have a valuable coaching assistant for their team and community. I know Corliss will contribute greatly to their success and we wish him well."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.