Home Sports Source: WNBA icon Weatherspoon to coach Sky

Source: WNBA icon Weatherspoon to coach Sky

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Source: WNBA icon Weatherspoon to coach Sky

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Teresa Weatherspoon is finalizing a deal to become the next head coach of the Chicago Sky, a source close to the situation confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday night.

Weatherspoon, one of the WNBA’s most iconic players since its launch in 1997, was the top target for the Sky and the candidate they were most excited about, a source told ESPN. The news was first reported by The Athletic.

Weatherspoon — who was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2019 — returns to the league after a lengthy stint working with the New Orleans Pelicans, first as a player development coach when she joined in 2019 and then as an assistant since 2020. During her playing career, Weatherspoon was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, five-time All-Star and four-time WNBA second-team honoree, mostly playing for the New York Liberty before finishing her career with the Los Angeles Sparks.

Weatherspoon also won the 1988 NCAA championship with Louisiana Tech, where she previously served as head coach from 2009 to 2014, and played for the U.S. Olympic team in 1988 and 1992, winning gold and bronze medals in those competitions, respectively.

The Sky were in the search for a new head coach after James Wade left midseason for an NBA assistant coaching job. The 2021 WNBA champs have appeared in the postseason for five straight years, although they finished the 2023 regular season a meager 18-22 before falling to the Las Vegas Aces in the first round of the playoffs.

The organization announced at the end of the season that interim Emre Vatansever would not return as head coach.

Despite a tumultuous 2023 that saw the departures of Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Azura Stevens and Emma Messeeman in the offseason, things are looking up for Chicago. They brought in Dwyane Wade as a minority owner of the franchise in July, re-signed 2021 Finals MVP Kahleah Copper to a two-year extension before she hit free agency and now are bringing in a big-name head coach.

Weatherspoon was a highly regarded voice in New Orleans, garnering immense praise and respect from franchise player Zion Williamson, and was also in the running for the Phoenix Mercury‘s head job in 2022 before she reportedly withdrew her name from consideration after the Pelicans successfully fought to keep her.

With Weatherspoon’s hire, the league will have six head-coaching positions occupied by former players. The Mercury have the only other vacant head-coaching job, with former player Nikki Blue serving as interim head coach this season.

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