On October 2, 2017, Dan Hughes was announced as the head coach of the Seattle Storm, the fifth head coach in the history of the franchise. In his first year in Seattle, Hughes guided the team to a league-best 26-8 record, an 11-win improvement from the previous season; clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs; and swept the Washington Mystics in the WNBA Finals to earn the third title in franchise history.
Hughes, who has coached more WNBA games (592) than anyone in league history, has an overall record of 281-311 (.475), good for the third-most wins all-time in the league. He was twice named WNBA Coach of the Year, first in 2001, after guiding the Cleveland Rockers to a 22-10 mark, and again in 2007, after posting a 20-14 record with San Antonio.
Hughes spent 11 years as the head coach and general manager for San Antonio, 2005-09, and 2011-16, guiding the Stars to six postseason appearances. Prior to San Antonio, he led the Cleveland Rockers from 2000-03, and was elevated to head coach in Charlotte midway through the 1999 season, posting a 10-10 record for the Sting. With those three franchises, Hughes made 10 playoff appearances in 16 total seasons, including one WNBA Finals showing in 2008 with San Antonio.
Hughes also served as a head coach at the 2009 and 2018 WNBA All-Star Games.
Hughes’ leadership is evidenced by his extensive head coaching tree that includes Chicago’s James Wade, who began his WNBA career on Hughes’ San Antonio staff from 2012-16; Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve, who worked with Hughes in Cleveland in 2003; Dallas’ Brian Agler, who was on Hughes’ staff in San Antonio from 2005-07; and Phoenix’s Sandy Brondello, who was drafted by Hughes in 1998 and served on his staff in San Antonio from 2005-09. Many of his former players have also gone on to coach in the professional ranks including Becky Hammon, an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs.
Hughes, who served on the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee from 2009-16, was an assistant coach for the 2018 USA Basketball Women’s National Team that won gold at the FIBA Women’s World Cup. In 2019, his former point guard and current USA Women’s Basketball National Team head coach Dawn Staley selected Hughes to serve as an assistant coach for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Prior to the WNBA, he served as the assistant coach for the University of Toledo’s women’s basketball program (1996-97) and men’s basketball program (1991-96). During his tenure with the Rockets’ women’s hoops team, Toledo posted a 27-4 record, winning the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championship and notching an NCAA Tournament appearance. Hughes also served assistant coaching roles with the men’s basketball teams at Mount Union College (1982-84 and 1985-91) and Baldwin-Wallace College (1984-85).
During the 1977-78 campaign, Hughes served as a graduate assistant at Miami of Ohio, helping the RedHawks to a MAC Championship and an appearance in the NCAA Regionals.
In 1977, Hughes graduated with a degree in physical education and history from Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio. He went on to collect a Master’s Degree in education from Miami University of Ohio in 1978. Hughes and his wife, Mary, have two children, Bryce and Sara; son-in-law Major Craig Bayer; and grandkids Logan, Jonah, Casey and Penny.