Mike Woodson expected to leave Knicks for Indiana Hoosiers

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Kenny Payne decided to stay with the Knicks after interviewing for the DePaul head-coaching opening, but fellow assistant coach Mike Woodson is set to leave New York to coach at his alma mater, Indiana.

The 63-year-old Woodson is expected to accept the position as the Hoosiers’ next head coach, a league source confirmed.

Woodson, the fifth-leading scorer in Indiana history, returned to the Knicks as one of Tom Thibodeau’s assistants this season after serving as their head coach for two-plus seasons from 2012-14, including the franchise’s lone playoff-round victory since 2000 in 2013. He previously coached the Atlanta Hawks from 2004-10.

Woodson was finalizing a six-year contract to return to Indiana, where he starred under Bob Knight from 1976-80, ESPN reported.

Indiana fired head coach Archie Miller earlier this month after the Hoosiers finished the season with seven straight losses for a 12-15 overall record – and 7-12 in the Big 10 – to miss the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight season (excluding the 2020 COVID cancellation).

A league source confirmed Saturday that Payne – the influential former Kentucky assistant coach — will be remaining with the Knicks. Another member of Thibodeau’s coaching staff, Johnnie Bryant, withdrew his name from consideration for the college opening at Utah on Friday.

Thibodeau said last week that he would not prevent his assistants from interviewing for jobs that would advance their coaching careers.

“Obviously very pleased that they’re being recognized and all are very capable,” Thibodeau said before Saturday’s win in Milwaukee. “But I’m obviously pleased that (Payne and Bryant are) staying.”

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