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Mad Ants near end of search

Team says it could name a new coach by next week.

Friday, May 22, 2009 - 10:11 am

The Mad Ants have narrowed their coaching search to four candidates, all with NBA D-League experience.

Sources within the team say the final four are Colorado coach Bob MacKinnon, who won the D-League title last season; Bakersfield coach Scott Roth; former Tulsa coach Joey Meyer and Dakota coach Duane Ticknor. MacKinnon and Roth are possible candidates because their current teams may not return to the league next season.

Mad Ants President Jeff Potter said the team could name a new coach as early as next week.

“I would say we're starting toward the end of it here,” Potter said. “I couldn't be happier with the candidates. We have some outstanding coaches and assistant coaches in this league. …We're doing our due diligence to make sure we get the right guy.”

The Ants and coach Jaren Jackson agreed to part ways at the end of last season, when the team finished last in the Central Division for the second straight year.

MacKinnon won the title in his first season as Colorado coach. He has a background in both pro and college hoops, and served as an assistant coach to Matt Doherty at Notre Dame and North Carolina.

Roth took over at Bakersfield with a team that was in disarray and led it to the playoffs. Before that, he was a scout for the Milwaukee Bucks and an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks and the Memphis Grizzlies.

Meyer, the former coach at DePaul University, has been a pro coach for several years, most recently with Tulsa in the D-League.

Ticknor has led the Dakota Wizards to consecutive playoff berths and was a win away from reaching the finals last season. He is 56-44 at Dakota.