Chicago Sky make it official by appointing Hall of Famer Teresa Weatherspoon as their new coach

The Chicago Sky have officially appointed Teresa Weatherspoon, a Naismith Hall of Famer, as the team’s head coach. This announcement comes two days after her agent confirmed her acceptance of the position.

Weatherspoon expressed her excitement, stating, “I’m thrilled to become part of the Chicago Sky Family. Leading as Head Coach in a city with such a rich history and culture is a dream come true. Our future endeavors as a team, a business, and within the community will be built on excitement, excellence, and hard work. I am grateful to the entire Chicago organization for selecting me through this process. I can’t wait to get started!”

The Chicago Sky, who clinched the 2021 WNBA championship, had been in search of a new coach after James Wade departed mid-season to assume an assistant role with the NBA’s Toronto Raptors. The team announced the separation of the coaching and general manager roles at the end of the season, following their playoff elimination by the Las Vegas Aces, marking a shift from their previous structure where both roles were held by Wade and then Emre Vatanseyer.

Teresa Weatherspoon, who served as the player development coach for the New Orleans Pelicans, is seen on the basketball court before the Pelicans’ NBA preseason game against the Utah Jazz in New Orleans on October 11, 2019. Her agent, Richard Gray, confirmed to The Associated Press via a text message on the evening of October 10, 2023, that the Chicago Sky have reached an agreement with Weatherspoon to appoint her as their next head coach. (Photo Credit/Tyler Kaufman)

“Her history of excellence and a track record of winning at every level, coupled with her coaching expertise, deep understanding of the game, boundless passion, high energy, and exceptional skills in player development, make Teresa the ideal selection to uphold our championship culture and lead us into an exciting new chapter,” stated Nadia Rawlinson, the Sky’s co-owner and operating chairman.

Weatherspoon is making her return to the WNBA after her tenure with the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans, where she served as a player development coach since 2019 before transitioning to an assistant role in 2020. Her contract with the Pelicans was terminated in June of this year.

During her illustrious playing career, Weatherspoon achieved tremendous success with the New York Liberty, earning the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year accolade in the league’s first two seasons. She led the Liberty to the Finals on four occasions, with the last appearance in 2002. New York has now reached the Finals for the first time in nearly two decades, currently trailing the Las Vegas Aces 1-0.

Weatherspoon also has experience as a head coach at the collegiate level, notably at her alma mater, Louisiana Tech, from 2009 to 2014.

It’s noteworthy that half of the WNBA’s coaches are former players, including the coaches of both teams in the finals, namely Becky Hammon of the Las Vegas Aces and Sandy Brondello of the New York Liberty. The Phoenix Mercury still have an open coaching position.

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