June 4, 2008
The Charlotte Bobcats today named Dave Hanners, Phil Ford and Jeff Capel as assistant coaches on the staff of new Head Coach Larry Brown. The club also named 15-year NBA veteran LaSalle Thompson strength and conditioning coach and Steve Stricker head athletic trainer.
“It was important to me to put together a staff that I feel comfortable with but also one that mirrors my coaching philosophy,” said Bobcats Head Coach Larry Brown. “When I selected my staff I wanted to assemble a group that will care about the players, care about the team and love to teach the game of basketball.”
Hanners is reunited with Brown, having served as an assistant coach with him for six seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers (2000-03), Detroit Pistons (2003-05) and New York Knicks (2005-06). Hanners, who spent the last three seasons on the Knicks bench, was an assistant coach for Detroit’s 2003-04 NBA Championship team, as well as the 2000-01 76ers and 2004-05 Pistons teams that won Eastern Conference titles.
Prior to his NBA career, Hanners spent 11 seasons alongside Ford as assistant coaches at their alma mater, the University of North Carolina, helping the Tar Heels to the 1993 NCAA Championship, six Final Fours and four ACC titles under Hall of Fame Coach Dean Smith and Bill Guthridge.
Hanners played guard at UNC under Smith from 1972-76, sharing a backcourt with Ford for his final two seasons. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Tar Heels from 1976-78, then spent three seasons as an assistant coach at UNC-Wilmington, two seasons at Furman and four seasons at East Tennessee State before returning to UNC in 1989 as an assistant coach.
Ford, who enters his second season with the Bobcats, also spent time on Brown’s bench in Detroit (2004-05) and New York (2005-06). In his fourth season as an NBA assistant coach, Ford’s coaching experience spans over 16 years, including a 12-year period as an assistant coach at UNC under Smith and Guthridge.
The 1979 NBA Rookie of the Year, Ford averaged 11.6 points in 482 games over his seven-year career with the Kansas City Kings, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets. The second overall pick in the 1978 draft, he also earned All-Rookie and All-NBA Second Team honors that season. During his third year in the league, he led the Kings to the 1981 Western Conference Finals.
No stranger to the North Carolina region, Ford was a standout player for the Tar Heels, where he earned All-ACC First Team honors (1976, 1977, 1978) and All-ACC Tournament First Team honors (1975, 1976, 1977). In addition, he was also named First Team All-American in 1976, 1977 and 1978 and was the winner of the John Wooden Award and ACC Player of the Year during his senior season. Ford was also a member of the gold medal-winning United States team at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, where he averaged 11.3 points during competition.
Ford was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1991 and was voted one of the ACC’s Top 10 All-Time Male Athletes during the conference’s Golden Anniversary celebration in 2003.
Capel enters his fifth season with the Bobcats, having joined the team during its inaugural season in 2004-05 after serving as head coach of the D-League Fayetteville Patriots for two-plus seasons. In Fayetteville, Capel guided the Patriots to the D-League Finals in 2002-03. Prior to his minor league tenure, he spent 12 years as a head coach at the collegiate level at Old Dominion, North Carolina A&T and Fayetteville State with a combined record of 201-162.
In seven seasons at ODU, Capel compiled a 122-98 record, including a school-record 25-win season, two NCAA tournament appearances and one NIT postseason berth. In his one lone season at N.C. A&T, Capel led the Aggies to the MEAC Championship and an NCAA tournament berth.
A 15-year NBA veteran, Thompson played for Brown in two separate stints with the Indiana Pacers from 1993-95 and again in 1997. Thompson, who was selected fifth overall in the 1982 NBA Draft by the Kansas City Kings, posted career averages of 7.9 points and 6.8 rebounds in 985 games for the Kings, Pacers, 76ers and Nuggets. He finished in the top 10 in the NBA in rebounding in both 1984-85 and 1985-86 and still ranks among the Kings’ franchise leaders in rebounds (sixth – 4,214) and blocked shots (second – 697).
Thompson played three seasons at the University of Texas before leaving early for the NBA after leading NCAA Division I in rebounding as a junior and ranking fifth as a sophomore. A consensus all-Southwest Conference selection in both his sophomore and junior years, Thompson was inducted into the UT Athletics Hall of Honor in 1998.
Thompson spent the 2000-01 season as General Manager of the San Diego Wildfire in the ABA. Since then, he has operated his own businesses, TNT Motorsports, a car and truck customizing business, and a land development firm.
Stricker brings over 20 years of experience to the Bobcats in a career that includes stops with the Washington Wizards, University of Michigan, University of Texas-Arlington and Iowa State University. Stricker began his career at his alma mater Iowa State, where he served as both a student trainer and assistant athletic trainer while earning both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. He went on to serve as head athletic trainer at UT-Arlington from 1993-95 before moving on to Michigan, where he held the positions of assistant athletic trainer and associate supervisor of athletic medicine. In 2001, Stricker joined the Wizards, serving as the team’s athletic trainer for three seasons. Most recently he served as marketing manager at Gatorade for team sports, handling all contracted college and professional teams in the Central and Northeast regions of the United States.
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