Knicks fire head coach Mike Woodson

Mike Woodson and the Knicks put up a complete dud against the Pacers. Credit: Getty Images
Mike Woodson is out as Knicks head coach
Credit: Getty Images

The long-expected ax fell on Knicks head coach Mike Woodson Monday morning.

The Knicks and new team president Phil Jackson announced the move.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff,” Jackson said in a statement. “The coaches and players on this team had an extremely difficult 2013-14 season, and blame should not be put on one individual. But the time has come for change throughout the franchise as we start the journey to assess and build this team for next season and beyond.”

Woodson was expected to be fired for months as the Knicks stumbled to a 37-45 record. They missed the playoffs for the first time in three seasons despite expectations to finish near the top of the Eastern Conference standings after a 54-win season last year.

The Knicks announced they fired the entire coaching staff. Assistant coach Herb Williams had been with the team since 2003, even briefly serving as interim head coach.

The firing was expected with the hiring of Jackson as the team’s new president on March 18. Owner James Dolan admitted at Jackson’s introduction he had approached the Hall of Famer first to be head coach. When he was turned down, the two discussed Jackson taking over as president.

Woodson was 109-79 in two and a half years as head coach. He took over for Mike D’Antoni midway through the 2011-12 season.

Jackson didn’t tip his hand as to who he will hire as a new head coach, but it’s expected to be someone from his coaching tree. Steve Kerr, who played with Jackson in Chicago, has been the most speculated about choice. Kerr has no coaching experience, but did serve as general manager in Phoenix and is currently a broadcaster for TNT.

Current Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw, former Timbewolves head coach Kurt Rambis and even current Thunder guard Derek Fisher have all been rumored to be candidates.

Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.



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