Bulls decide on Skiles as next coach

11/27/2003 - Chicago Bulls

Scott Skiles will be named the head coach of the Chicago Bulls on Friday, ESPN has learned.

Skiles was believed to be the frontrunner to replace Bill Cartwright, who was fired Monday because of the team's dismal start.

The Bulls were expected to show dramatic improvements this year -- possibly even contending for the playoffs. But instead they started 4-10 and Cartwright lost his job. Pete Myers, who coached Tuesday night's 124-98 loss to the Mavericks, served as the interim coach for one game.

Other names that had been mentioned for the job were former Orlando coach Doc Rivers, Mike Fratello and Chicago native Isiah Thomas. But Rivers is working as a TV analyst and has already said he's not interested in coaching this season.

Skiles, 39, was 116-79 as coach of the Suns from 1999-01, and was 5-8 in the playoffs. But there reportedly was friction between him and his players, and he stepped down in February 2002. He hasn't coached since.

Skiles, then an assistant in Phoenix, also interviewed with the Bulls in 1998, when they were looking for a replacement for Phil Jackson. But he was a longshot because then-general manager Jerry Krause had Tim Floyd in mind.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.