Meadowdale grad named interim head coach of Indiana Fever

Carlos Knox, a 1993 Meadowdale High School graduate, was named interim head coach of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever for the remainder of the season after the head coach, Marianne Stanley, was fired nine games into the season Wednesday.

The Fever are off to a 2-7 start. Knox, 47, conducted his first practice as head coach Thursday and will have his first game Friday against the Los Angeles Sparks at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis.

On Instagram, Knox reacted to the news on Thursday.

“What a blessing and opportunity this is!” he wrote. “From my earliest playing days as a kid in Dayton to professional playing opportunities in the NBA and overseas, I have always dreamt of an opportunity like this. Thank you to Pacers Sports & Entertainment along with the Simon Family for trusting me to lead the Fever basketball team. I deeply appreciate being brought onto the staff by Tamika Catchings and Marianne Stanley and for them believing in my abilities on and off the court as an assistant coach. Thank you, Lin Dunn, for sharing the desire to take this team to a higher level and allowing me to lead them in that journey.

“We have something special going on with these players! This is a proud franchise, built on historical success, with an even brighter future. I was fortunate to be involved with the Fever when we reached the pinnacle of basketball. and I am determined to do everything in my power to coach this team to a high competing level again. Thank you to everyone who has helped my wife Michelle and I along this journey and I cannot wait to get started. Let’s Go Fever!”

Knox told reporters in Indianapolis he was blindsided by the firing of Stanley and his promotion but wants to earn the head coaching job past this season.

“It’s always been a lifetime, long-term dream of mine,” he said. “When I first got here with Tamika Catchings and Katie Douglas, this was always a big-time scenario for me. I loved being the player development coach here. I loved when I was hired as an assistant here. On the Pacers side, I’ve had a chance to meet a lot of NBA players and really establish relationships with the NBA coaches. So it’s kind of like a family down here for me. So I would love nothing more to be the head coach here, and I’ll work my tail off to make sure that happen.”

Catchings and Douglas were the Fever’s stars during Knox’s first stint with the franchise from 2014-16.

Knox, a 6-foot-2 point guard, averaged 23 points, 9.6 assists and 6.0 rebounds as a senior at Meadowdale in the 1992-93 season. He was a three-year starter, and his team won the city championship with an 8-0 mark that year and finished 18-6 overall.

“He can shoot the jumper or dunk the ball on you,” Belmont coach Bobby Porter said then. “He could finish the play off. Nobody else in the city could do that. He made his teammates better players.”

Knox played his freshman season at Tennessee-Martin, averaging 8.5 points per game, but then transferred to Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. At IUPUI, he played for another Dayton native, Chaminade Julienne graduate Ron Hunter, then a first-time head coach who’s now entering his fourth season at Tulane.

In the 1994-95 season, Knox led NCAA Division II men’s basketball in scoring with 28.4 points a game. A season later, he averaged 32.0 points, ranking second in the nation in scoring. He missed the 1996-97 season with a torn ACL but returned for the 1997-98 season and averaged 30.0 points.

IUPUI became a Division I program in the 1998-99 season. Knox remains its all-time leading scorer (2,556 points). He was inducted into the school’s hall of fame in 2004, and his jersey number is retired.

Knox was not drafted in 1998 but had a tryout with the Indiana Pacers. His professional playing career included stops in Croatia, Germany, Venezuela and Italy. His coaching career began at IUPUI on Hunter’s staff and has included stints as an assistant coach with the women’s basketball teams at San Diego State (2010-11), North Texas (2017-20) and Cincinnati (2020-21). In 2006, he coached the Dayton Jets, of the International Basketball League. Knox has also coached in a number of other leagues: Canada’s NBLC league; the Continental Basketball Association; the American Basketball Association; and the International Basketball League.

Knox joined Stanley’s staff in December, and now will take over a team that includes former Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell, who leads the team with 18.7 points per game.

“It feels great to step in,” Knox said. “My message to our team is to continue to be focused and determined and passionate about some of the things that are happening. We have a great young group, a great core. Our leadership from our veterans has really been paramount since I stepped in. It was a pleasure to step in and see everybody focused and ready to go.

“Creating relationships as an assistant was big. I have a lot of confidence in those young ladies, and they have a lot of confidence in me. It’s not really a big change. Obviously, I’ve been a coach in other situations in other organizations, but it’s such a pleasure to come into an organization like this one, where you have so much support from so many people.”

About the Author