Ticknor to Join Memphis Grizzlies Coaching Staff
During his sole year as head coach for the Mad Ants, the team finished second in the Eastern Division, earned a playoff berth for the first time in team history, and ended the season with a franchise-best 27-23 record. Also, during his time with the Mad Ants, Ticknor coached the 2013 NBA Development League Rookie of the Year Tony Mitchell, who, during the 2012-13 season was an NBA D-League All-Star, the NBA D-League All-Star Dunk Contest Champion, and earned All D-League First Team honor and All D-League Rookie First Team honors.
“I couldn’t be happier for Duane right now,” said Mad Ants president, Jeff Potter. “The opportunity to move up to the NBA is what this league is all about and I can think of no one more deserving of a call-up than Coach Ticknor. He is a great coach who has a history of winning everywhere he’s been, and his time with the Mad Ants was no exception. Duane changed the culture of our team and I’m confident that the Ants will continue to build upon the foundation that he laid this past season.”
“I’m excited about my opportunity to coach in the NBA and work with this franchise,” Ticknor said. ”It will be a lot different than what I’ve been used to doing for so long, but I’m looking forward to it.”
“I’d like to thank all of the fans, as well as the front office, for making sure my time in Fort Wayne was so enjoyable,” said Ticknor. “Jeff Potter was great to work with and Steve Gansey was everything I could have asked for in an assistant coach. I’m happy that we were able to get this team moving in the right direction, and I think that they will continue to improve in years to come.”
Ticknor has 17 years of head coaching experience at the collegiate and professional levels, including the NBA D-League. He served as head coach for the Dakota Wizards and led them to the playoffs in each of his two seasons there, with his 2007-08 team finishing 29-21 and winning the Central Division title. He then moved on to the Sioux Falls Skyforce from 2009-11, where he spent two seasons as assistant coach.
A minor league coaching veteran, Ticknor has a combined IBA-CBA record of 197-121. During his career in the IBA, Ticknor assumed the role of head coach for the Black Hills Posse (1995-99), Dakota Wizards (1999-00), and Siouxland Bombers (2000-01). In six seasons with the IBA, Ticknor advanced to the finals three times, won a championship in 1997, and was named Coach of the Year in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2000. He spent time in the CBA as head coach of the Gary Steelheads (2002-05) and assistant coach of the Rapid City Thrillers (1989-92).
The South Dakota native began his head coaching career in Rapid City, S.D., as head coach of the men’s basketball team at National American University, where he compiled a 139-66 record over six seasons. After his team advanced to the national tournament four times and won back-to-back national championships in 1987 and 1988, Coach Ticknor was inducted into the Rapid City Sports Hall of Fame.
Ticknor currently resides in Chicago with his wife, Mary.