Miami Heat Look Within Organization for New Skyforce Head Coach
It’s a similar but not exact path for the one chosen to lead the Sioux Falls Skyforce for the 2014-15 season.
In a press release, the Miami Heat announced that Phil Weber has been named head coach of the Sioux Falls Skyforce. He becomes the 17th head coach in franchise history after serving as a consultant for the Heat since 2012. Weber takes over for Pat Delany who led the Skyforce to the second round of the NBA D-League Playoffs in his only season at the helm. Delany was also a hire that came from within the Heat organization.
A look at Weber’s basketball resume reveals an intriguing path. Prior to joining the Heat as a consultant, Weber worked as an assistant coach for the New York Knicks (2008-12) and Phoenix Suns (1999-2008).
During his time in Phoenix, Weber started as an assistant of Scott Skiles. Weber was retained as an assistant through a change to Frank Johnson in 2002 and then to Mike D'Antoni's staff in 2003. Weber eventually followed D'Antoni to the Knicks.
Weber also has experience in the college ranks where he was an assistant coach at Iona College (1991-95), Chaminade University (1990-91) and the University of Florida (1984-89). Weber graduated from North Carolina State University in 1984.
An introductory press conference with be held for Weber in the Sanford Pentagon on Wednesday, October 8 at 3:00 p.m.
Joining Weber on the Skyforce coaching staff is Chris Quinn, a six-year NBA veteran and Norte Dame product, was originally signed by the Heat as a free agent on July 6, 2006 and appeared in 168 games (26 starts) for Miami over three and a half seasons, playing for both Pat Riley and current Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra. He then went on to play three more NBA seasons, splitting time with the New Jersey Nets, San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers and mostly recently served as Director of Player Development at Northwestern University. Quinn also played against Sioux Falls as a member of the Tulsa 66ers during the 2012-13 season.
The other new hire is Corey Belser who served as video intern for the Heat last season. Prior to joining Miami, he held the same position with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2012-13. A 2006 graduate of the University of San Diego, Belser was the WCC Defensive Player of the Year his senior season. Belser played for both the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers NBA Summer League teams and spent time playing professionally overseas in Greece, Ukraine, Finland and France.
Additionally, the Heat announced that Octavio De La Grana, an assistant coach with the Skyforce last season, has been named Player Development Coach/Director of Minor
League Operations. Justin Van Kooten will also return in his role as Director of Basketball Operations for the Skyforce.
Game one of the 2014-15 slate is Saturday November 15 at the defending champion Fort Wayne Mad Ants with the first home game a week later against the Iowa Energy November 22.