It’s been a busy week in Indianapolis as two pro sports franchises have hired new head coaches. The Indiana Fever brought in Christie Sides to lead the team in rebuilding, while the Indianapolis Colts brought in Jeff Saturday to rekindle the roster after a 3-5-1 start.
Pacers assistant general manager Kelly Krauskopf served as fever’s president and general manager for nearly twenty years. She headed the WNBA franchise when Sides was an assistant earlier this decade and was delighted with the hire.
“I got to see his knowledge and communication skills firsthand. He had a great leadership presence as an assistant coach. I’ve been a huge fan from the start,” Krauskopf said of Sides.
Now, Sides is the head coach of the Indiana Fever. He comes to Fever from the Atlanta Dream, where he served as an assistant last season. The sides attended the Pacers game against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.
Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle discussed hiring Fever on Saturday before that game. “[I want to] congratulate coach Christie Sides on becoming the new head coach of the Fever. Pretty exciting time for her and the franchise,” he said. He also cheered on Fever for winning the WNBA Draft on Friday night.
Sides replaces former Pacers player Carlos Knox as head coach of the Fever.
Meanwhile, in the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts just moved on from head coach Frank Reich and brought in former player Jeff Saturday to coach on an interim basis. Saturday had little experience coaching at the professional level, so many found the hiring surprising.
Scroll to Continue
The Colts face the Las Vegas Raiders today in their first game under Saturday. Carlisle shared that he and Saturday shared messages this week.
“I was able to briefly text Jeff on Saturday today. I got his number and wished him well. It’s a very unique situation, what he’s done, what he’s going through,” Carlisle said. “[I’ve] she’s been following the whole thing this week pretty closely because, you know, how can you not follow her? It’s such a fascinating situation.”
Sabato spent 13 seasons in center for the Colts and won a Super Bowl in 2006. He coached at the high school level before being hired by Indianapolis.
“What he’s doing takes a tremendous amount of courage to step into that situation. But I’ve seen it work before,” said Rick Carlisle. “I came here with Larry Bird in 1997 and there were a lot of doubters and a lot of detractors. And all he did was be the coach of the year, his freshman year,” he added. Carlisle and Bird made the Indiana coaching staff the same year in 1997 and led the team to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Saturday commented on his conversation with Carlisle earlier this weekend. “It was surreal. I told him I love what he did for so many years … when he reached out to me, he meant the world to me,” Saturday said. for Larra Overton of the Colts.
Carlisle is in the second season of his second stint as coach of the Pacers. Teams will get Fever’s first chance to train next May, with Saturday getting its first chance today.
- The Pacers are still considered the most likely team to make a Russell Westbrook trade as Myles Turner comments on the Lakers rumors. CLICK HERE. For Myles Turner’s reaction to responding to his comments, CLICK HERE.
- Bennedict Mathurin continues his impressive rookie season with an 18-point quarter, 30-point game against the Denver Nuggets. CLICK HERE.
- Jalen Smith’s former coach and teammate explains how he made the switch from the Phoenix Suns to the Indiana Pacers. CLICK HERE.
- Indiana Pacers Mock Trade Review: Four Deal Check from Bleacher Report. CLICK HERE.
- Follow AllPacer on Facebook: All Pacers YES
- Follow on Twitter: @SIPacers