FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Fort Wayne Mad Ants NBA affiliate, the Indiana Pacers have exercised their option to have Steve Gansey continue as head coach for the 2017-18 season. The Pacers named Gansey Head Coach following the purchase of the team in August of 2015, making this his third consecutive season as head coach for the Ants.
“Steve has shown a great professional and personal development over the last two seasons with the Mad Ants.” General Manager Brian Levy said. “The hard work he and his staff have put in makes us feel the team is headed in a positive direction under his leadership.”
Levy stated that the organization is looking forward to building on the successes of the Mad Ants past season by continuing with Steve as the head coach.
During the 2016-17 regular season the Mad Ants went 30-20, clinching a playoff berth as the third seed in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference. Fort Wayne faced Maine in the First Round of the 2017 NBA D-League Playoffs forcing a game three, but the Mad Ants fell to the Red Claws in the final minute.
Along with the playoff run, the Mad Ants had three players receive an NBA Call-Up during the 2016-17 season; Ben Bentil received a 10-Day contract with the Dallas Mavericks, Jarrod Uthoff received two 10-Day contracts with the Mavericks and signed with them for the remainder of the NBA season, and Alex Poythress signed a contract with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Entering his eighth season in a coaching role, Gansey’s career with the Mad Ants began back in 2009-10 when he served as one of the team’s basketball interns. He has served as assistant coach in three season with the Ants including an interim head coaching position in 2011-12.
Gansey served a vital role in the development of Mad Ants players such Ron Howard, Darnell Lazare, Rob Kurz and the 2013 D-League Rookie of the Year Tony Mitchell. He also aided the team in earning not only their first playoff berth in franchise history, but also their first NBA D-League Championship in 2014.
Gansey made a one year stint as an Associate Head Coach with the D-League Canton Charge during the 2014-15 season, where he also served in a support role, assisting in practices and workouts for the Cleveland Cavaliers during their postseason run after Canton was eliminated from the D-League postseason.
Prior to his coaching experiences in the NBA Development League, Gansey helped as an assistant coach/support staff for the USA U19 National Basketball Team where he worked with players such as Stephen Curry, DeAndre Jordan and Tyreke Evans.
Gansey is on the hunt to bring a second championship to Fort Wayne as they head into their 11th season.
“I am really excited to be back with the Mad Ants and I appreciate all of the fans support over the last couple years,” Gansey said. “I would like to thank Brian Levy and the rest of the Pacers/Mad Ants organization for allowing myself to lead the team next season.”