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Report: Steve Hetzel hired to coach Canton Charge

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The Canton Charge will have a new head coach this season.

USA TODAY Sports

The Canton Charge needed to find a new head coach after Alex Jensen left the team and took a job on Ty Corbin's staff with the Utah JazzAccording to Bob Finnan of the News-Herald, the Charge have found their coach. Finnan reported on Wednesday morning that the organization will hire Steve Hetzel to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers' D-League affiliate.

Who is Steve Hetzel? According to Finnan, he has worked for Mike Brown in the past as the Cavs video coordinator and his primary strength is player development. Those things would seem to make him a good fit for coach of the Charge.

He served as the Cavs' video coordinator under Brown in 2008-09.


When John Kuester left the Cavs to become the Pistons' head coach, he accompanied him to Detroit. He was the Pistons' player development coach for four years.


When Kuester was fired, Hetzel remained on Lawrence Frank's staff for two seasons. When Frank was dispatched after the 2012-13 season, Hetzel was also sent packing.

It was a bummer for the organization to lose Jensen to Utah, as several people that I have talked to insist he will be a head coach in the NBA in the not-so-distant future. Jensen also won D-League Coach of the Year last season. But Hetzel may be a solid replacement. It's important for the Charge coach to be adept at developing players and able to communicate and cooperate with Mike Brown and the rest of the Cavaliers' coaching staff.

The Cavs have utilized their D-League team a lot in the past and although the roster features far fewer D-League players this season, they'd be wise to make use of it again. Young players such as Sergey Karasev and Carrick Felix may not be able to crack the Cleveland rotation initially and sending them to Canton is an easy solution to get them valuable playing experience. If either player spends significant time with the Charge, Hetzel will likely play a substantial role in helping them develop into the useful pieces that the Cavs envision helping a contending team down the road.