The Mad Ants are in search of a head coach – again.
Less than two weeks after completing the worst record in franchise history, team president and general manager Jeff Potter on Tuesday announced that he would begin a search for a head coach for the 2012-13 NBA Development League season.
If former assistant Steve Gansey, who was given the title of interim head coach after veteran Joey Meyer was fired in early January, is not retained, the next coach will be the fifth in six seasons.
Meyer, who led the Ants to a 24-26 record in the 2010-11 season, was released after a 5-10 start last year and was replaced by the 26-year-old Gansey, who had no head coaching experience.
Under Gansey, the team struggled even more, going winless in 10 games in February and going 2-9 in March. Gansey was 9-26 in his 35-game tenure, and the Ants finished 14-36, last in the D-League and the worst team record since it was 17-33 in 2007-08, their first season.
I think Steve has done some good things, and there are some areas where he struggled, Potter said. With those struggles and with the record he ended up with, we can’t just hand over the keys. We need to do some investigating to make sure is he the right choice. And get the best person possible to lead the team.
Gansey wants to be that person. I want the job, he said. I want to start anew. I don’t want to start in the middle. I don’t want to start halfway. I want to start right now and prepare for it and have a draft with guys that I like and have a training camp so I can go through all the principles and all the fundamentals that need to be set in stone that I want to do. This past year I wasn’t prepared for it. Now it’s different. Now I am experienced.
Potter said he hoped to have a head coach on board prior to scouting players at the NBA summer leagues, which will be held in July.
We’re looking for someone who is really good in game preparation, relates to the players well, recognizes in-game patterns and things like that, Potter said. Make sure (of) accountability for the players, and all the other little things that go along with this job. How they work with the office. They are going to be active in the community, as often as we get out and do clinics and do other community events; knowledge of players.
Potter said that Gansey will be considered for the head coaching job but added that assistant Christian Laettner, who became Gansey’s assistant, would be considered if Laettner applied for the position.
If Christian would like to get his name in, we would certainly consider him, Potter said. He’s got a wealth of knowledge. What he doesn’t have, though, is a ton of coaching experience outside of the games he had here in Fort Wayne. I definitely would prefer someone who does have some head coaching experience.