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March 25, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Charlotte has hired Mark Price as its basketball coach, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the hiring hasn't been announced.

The 49ers have scheduled a press conference for Thursday to introduce their new coach.

The 51-year-old Price has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach for the NBA's Charlotte Hornets. He'll replace Alan Major, who left the program earlier this month amid ongoing medical problems.

Price played 12 seasons in the NBA and was a four-time All-Star. He has been an assistant NBA coach for five teams.

Price declined comment prior to the Hornets' game against the Brooklyn Nets.

He takes over a struggling program that went 14-18 last season.

Price played at Georgia Tech and spent most of his NBA career with the Cleveland Cavaliers and was hired by Hornets owner Michael Jordan. The former Chicago Bulls star hired Price, in part, to help correct Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's awkward looking jump shot. Kidd-Gilchrist has made significant strides this season after spending much of last summer working one-on-one with Price.

Hornets coach Steve Clifford wouldn't confirm that Price is leaving the team, but said Wednesday night ''he would be terrific'' as a head coach.

''Mark has gotten a lot of credit for the work that he has done with Mike with his shooting, but he's much more than that,'' Clifford said. ''He's helped Kemba (Walker) a lot. He's helped Mike a lot with all aspects of the game, offensively and defensively. Mark was a great player and he grew up in a basketball family. His dad was a coach and I think that is who he is. He is talented and he has been around basketball his whole life. I think he'll do a great job.''

Price was known for his outstanding shooting in the NBA.

Despite being only 6-foot tall, Price shot 90.4 percent from the foul line and 40 percent from 3-point range.

The 49ers' Major struggled with health problems last season, and was forced to leave the team twice due to medical issues involving his heart and eyes. He had a 75-81 record in five years and the 49ers never made the NCAA Tournament under Major.

The school announced earlier this month that it had ''mutually agreed'' to part ways with Major.

Director of athletics Judy Rose said in a March 16 release that the decision was ''an extremely difficult situation'' and ''we decided this was both in his best interest and the best interest of our program.''

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