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Top MPBA coach from 2015 hired by D-League

By Craig Fata, 10/07/16, 11:15AM CDT


Former RiverSharks coach Al Grushkin named as assistant coach of Ft. Wayne Mad Ants


October 7, 2016

The Midwest Professional Basketball Association’s 2015 Coach of the Year has accepted an assistant coaching position with the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants of the National Basketball Development League (NBA D-League).

Al Grushkin led the St. Louis RiverSharks to a 16-4 record in 2015, as well as a trip to the MPBA finals, where his team dropped a heartbreaker to the Champaign Swarm 115-106.

“I enjoyed my time in the MPBA,” Grushkin said. “The play, the officiating, the organization, they’re all outstanding. I appreciated the opportunity to coach the pro game, and I wish them continued success.”

Grushkin cut his coaching teeth as an assistant at the University of Tulsa and the University of Arkansas under Nolan Richardson in the 1980’s before moving on to Western Illinois, Idaho State and the University of Texas-San Antonio in the 1990’s.  In 2000, he landed his first head coaching job at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, where he led the Cardinals to the NCAA Division II Regional Semi-Finals and a top-20 ranking in 2002.

Grushkin has worked with Marty Blake & Associates NBA Scouting as a regional scout covering Conference USA, the Sun Belt, the SEC, and the Ohio Valley Conference.  In 2009, while continuing to work with Marty Blake & Associates, Grushkin became a consultant with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.

Grushkin becomes the second D-League hire from the MPBA in the last week. On September 30, the Windy City Bulls hired MPBA Associate Commissioner/Director of Basketball Personnel A.J. Guyton as an assistant coach.