TULSA, Okla., Dec. 5, 2011— The Tulsa 66ers, proud affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder, announced today that head coach Nate Tibbetts has accepted an opportunity to join the Cleveland Cavaliers as an assistant coach. The organization has also announced that current 66ers assistant Dale Osbourne will take over as head coach effective immediately.

Tibbetts began his third season with the 66ers this past November and compiled a 64-41 (.610) career record in Tulsa, including a 4-1 mark this season. He helped guide the 66ers to consecutive playoff appearances in his first two campaigns, including the NBA D-League Finals in 2010. Last season, Tibbetts served as head coach for the West Team in the 2011 NBA D-League All-Star Game and was also selected as head coach for the 2011 Pan American Games where he helped lead the USA Team to a bronze medal.

Tibbetts becomes the first head coach in 66ers history to make the move to an NBA bench. Last season, the 66ers led the NBA D-League with three players earning a total of four GATORADE Call-Ups.

“Our goals are to help develop and grow not only our players, but also our coaches and front office staff members, so we are very happy that Nate has the opportunity to continue his career with this step to an NBA bench,” said Paul Rivers, Thunder Director of Minor League Operations and Basketball Technology. “We appreciate Nate’s efforts with the 66ers and are confident that Dale will step in and continue to build on the foundation in place with the 66ers.”

Osbourne’s first game as head coach will be this Wednesday, Dec. 7, when the 66ers (4-1) travel to Austin to take on the Toros (2-1) at 7:30 p.m. CT inside Cedar Park Center.

Osbourne began his third season as assistant coach for the 66ers in November. Prior to Tulsa, he spent time as an assistant with the NBA D-League’s Utah Flash and Austin Toros. From 2004-06, Osbourne served as head coach and general manager of the USBL Dodge City Legend, where he led the team to consecutive regular season and division championships in 2004 and 2005.

Prior to his stint in the USBL, Osbourne spent seven seasons at the University of South Alabama, where he helped guide his alma mater to a pair of Sun Belt conferences titles.