Fritz Relieved as Skyforce Head Coach

Sioux Falls, S.D. (Jan. 14, 2011) – The Sioux Falls Skyforce announced today that Tony Fritz has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the NBA Development League franchise. Assistant coach Duane Ticknor has been named interim head coach.

“Tony led us to the best regular season record since joining the NBA D-League last year but unfortunately this season has not gone as planned and we feel it is in the best interest of the franchise to make a change,” said Skyforce owner/president Mike Heineman. “We’re confident that Coach Ticknor will put a competitive product on the court.”

Fritz guided the franchise to a record of 34-34 (.500) during his one-plus season. His squad earned a postseason berth in his first season at the helm as they finished the regular season with a record of 32-18. Before being named head coach on June 9, 2009, he served as an assistant coach for two seasons (07-09) under Nate Tibbetts.

Ticknor, who served as head coach of the Dakota Wizards for two seasons (07-09), is in his second season with the Skyforce. He led the Wizards to the postseason in each of his two seasons in Bismarck, N.D. and his 2007-08 squad finished 29-21 to win the Central Division crown. In 2008-09 the Wizards defeated the Central Division champion Iowa Energy in the first round of the playoffs before falling to the Utah Flash in the league semifinals.

Ticknor spent time in the CBA as head coach of the Gary Steelheads (2002-05) and as an assistant coach of the Rapid City Thrillers (1989-92). The Vermillion, S.D. native was also the head coach for three IBA teams: Black Hills Posse (1995-99), Dakota Wizards (1999-00) and Siouxland Bombers (2000-01). The four-time Coach of the Year (‘96, ‘97, ‘98, ‘00) advanced to the IBA Finals three times and won the championship in 1997.

The Skyforce’s next game is on Saturday, Jan. 15 at home against the Bakersfield Jam. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Sioux Falls Arena. Season tickets and 12-ticket flex packs for the 2010-11 season are on sale. Discounts and benefits are also available for groups of 10 or more. For more information please contact a Skyforce representative at (605) 332-0605.