Skyforce Names Tibbetts Head Coach
Sioux Falls, S.D. (August 7, 2007) – The Sioux Falls Skyforce announced today that Nate Tibbetts has been named head coach of the long-standing franchise. He becomes the twelfth head coach in franchise history after serving as an assistant coach the past two seasons under Dave Joerger and Mo McHone, respectively.
“Nate has earned this opportunity with the way he has contributed to the success of our franchise over the last two seasons,” said Skyforce president/owner Mike Heineman. “The way he is respected by players, the front office staff, NBA and D-League personnel along with coaches around the league, shows us that he is ready to lead our team.”
While Tibbetts will make his debut as a head coach in November, he did go 2-0 as acting head coach this past season when head coach Mo McHone missed two games to attend the funeral of good friend and fellow NBA Development League coach Dennis Johnson.
During the past two seasons as an assistant coach, Tibbetts helped guide the Skyforce to a regular season record of 61-37 (.622) and a postseason record of 3-2 (.600). He is also credited with helping five players (seven call-ups) reach the NBA and also assisted in the development of NBA assigned players Will Blalock and Amir Johnson during their time in the D-League.
Prior to joining the Skyforce in 2005, Tibbetts was an assistant men’s basketball coach at the University of Sioux Falls for four years (2001-05). Shane Murphy, who coached Tibbetts as an assistant coach at USD, brought him on board and it was the beginning of a successful run together. In his four seasons at USF, the Cougars posted a record of 92-44 (.676), including two trips to the NAIA Division II national tournament. The 2003-04 squad was the best in school history as they would finish the dream season with 26 wins before falling to Bellevue University (Neb.) 72-60 in the Final Four.
Before pursuing a career in coaching, Tibbetts enjoyed a stellar playing career at the University of South Dakota. He is second all-time in the USD record books in career assists (687) and steals (215). He was named All-NCC in 2000-01 and Honorable Mention All-NCC in 1999-00, in addition to playing on three straight NCC Conference Championship teams (1999-01). Tibbetts was a two-year starter for Sioux Falls Roosevelt High School and earned first-team class AA All-State and first-team All-Sioux Interstate conference honors his senior season.
“I would like to thank Greg and Mike Heineman for having the confidence in me to continue the winning tradition here in Sioux Falls,” said Tibbetts. “Being an assistant for the two most successful coaches in franchise history has without a doubt prepared me to be a head coach at the professional level.”
Season tickets are now on sale for the 2007-08 season. Discounts and benefits are also available for groups of 10 or more. For information please contact a Skyforce representative at (605) 332-0605.