FORT WAYNE – The Mad Ants are closing in on their next coach and they hope to make a hire early next week.
I have had three candidates in this week (for interviews) and will have the last one in later this week, Mad Ants president Jeff Potter said Tuesday. I should have a decision shortly thereafter.
Potter wouldn’t name the candidates but confirmed that Pat Zipfel, an assistant coach and advance scout for the Minnesota Timberwolves, has withdrawn his name from consideration.
The Mad Ants went 27-23 last season and earned a D-League playoff berth – for the first time in franchise history – under Duane Ticknor.
Ticknor has since been hired by the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies as an assistant to head coach Dave Joerger, who was an assistant under Ticknor with the Dakota Wizards.
Potter would like to hire someone with head-coaching experience.
Zipfel met that requirement, having coached the New Jersey Squires of the American Basketball Association, Centenary College and Bucks County Community College. He has also worked for the Los Angeles Clippers as a scout, the Portland Trail Blazers as a scout and the Houston Rockets as an assistant coach and scout, while also working as a scout with national teams from the Ukraine and the Dominican Republic.
Until the Mad Ants hire a coach, assistant coach, and former interim head coach, Steve Gansey is there to help run things, including any tryouts.