Less than a month after announcing their purchase of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League, the Pacers announced the hiring of Steve Gansey as head coach; a youthful candidate with extensive coaching experience at the D-League level already under his belt.
For Gansey, 29, this isn't his first stint in Fort Wayne. He served as a basketball intern with the Mad Ants in 2009-2010, was promoted to assistant coach shortly thereafter, and even helmed the role of interim head coach during the 2011-2012 season before returning as an assistant the following season.
Most recently, Gansey served as an associate head coach for the Canton Charge, the D-League affiliate for the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he enjoyed a close-up view of the single-affiliate game in action (via the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette):
"The Cleveland Cavaliers organization was top notch and being able to see that first hand and experience a one-to-one (affiliation) relationship, how they do things and how they sign players, and being around (Cavaliers coach David) Blatt on a daily basis, it was unbelievable," Gansey said. "It gives me even more confidence as a head coach to have seen that and to now implement the Pacers' plan."
Gansey spent time with Pacers' Summer League team in July, and recently worked with Frank Vogel to learn the Pacers' new offensive and defensive philosophies in hopes of implementing them systematically into the D-League club.
The Mad Ants open their season against the Raptors 905, Saturday, November 14th at 7:30 p.m. at Allen Co. War Memorial Coliseum.