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Springfield Armor tab Bob MacKinnon Jr. as new head coach


Posted Sep 14 2011 3:30PM

The Springfield Armor today introduced Bob MacKinnon, Jr. as the team's head coach at a press conference at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield. MacKinnon, Jr. becomes the second head coach in the Armor's three-year history, stepping in for former Armor Head Coach, Dee Brown.

"We are very pleased to welcome Bob as the new head coach of the Armor," said Nets General Manager Billy King. "He brings a wealth of basketball knowledge to the position, has a previous track record in the D-League and will be able to provide the symmetry we are looking for in style and principles between the Nets and Springfield."

MacKinnon, Jr., 50, brings 29 years of coaching experience at the collegiate and professional levels to Springfield. A native of Buffalo, NY, MacKinnon, Jr. led the Colorado 14'ers (who have since relocated and become the Texas Legends) to the 2009 NBA D-League championship after compiling a 34-16 regular season record and a perfect 4-0 mark in the playoffs. Following the relocation of the 14'ers, MacKinnon, Jr. was at the helm of the Idaho Stampede for the 2009-10 season, compiling a 25-25 record. During his two years as an NBA D-League head coach, MacKinnon, Jr. had four players called up to the NBA for a total of seven Gatorade NBA Call-ups.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity with the partnership between the Nets and the Armor, as this has become one of, if not the premier job in the D-League," said MacKinnon, Jr. "I'm looking forward to getting to work with Coach (Avery) Johnson, Billy King and Milton Lee, and I'm looking forward to bringing a winning brand of basketball to Springfield."

"We're excited to welcome Bob to the Pioneer Valley as the newest member of the Armor family," said Armor General Manager Alex Schwerin. "Bob has won a championship in the D-League and has had tremendous success coaching at this level. We're thrilled to have him on board."

MacKinnon, Jr. graduated from King's College in Wilkes-Barre, PA in 1982 after a four-year playing career at the Division III school. Following a senior season in which MacKinnon, Jr. both played and assisted on the coaching staff, he began an extensive college coaching career by joining the staff at Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA, where he served as an assistant coach from 1982-85. MacKinnon, Jr. then moved on to George Washington University, where he assisted former Detroit Pistons head coach and current Los Angeles Lakers assistant, John Kuester, from 1985-1990. MacKinnon, Jr. followed his stint at GW by joining the Niagara University coaching staff as associate head coach from 1990-97. MacKinnon, Jr. moved on to his first head coaching job at the United States Merchant Marine Academy from 1997-99, where he captured two Skyline Conference championships and won the Skyline Conference Coach of the Year award in 1999.

From there, MacKinnon, Jr. joined Matt Doherty's staff at Notre Dame as an assistant, where he stayed for the 1999-2000 season before joining Doherty at the University of North Carolina, where he assisted on the Tar Heels staff from 2000-03. During his first season at UNC, the Tar Heels were ranked as high as number one in the country and enjoyed an 18-game winning streak. Following his time at UNC, MacKinnon, Jr. served as the senior assistant coach at Marshall University from 2003-07. MacKinnon, Jr. also worked for the Los Angeles Lakers as both their associate director of summer camps and as a regional scout from 2005-08, and was most recently the head coach of the TianJin Rongcheng Gold Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association.

"We're very excited to be just a little over two months away from our opening night on November 25th at the MassMutual Center," Schwerin said. "We have big plans for the upcoming season and we're looking forward to making our third season in Springfield our best season yet."

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