Hughes’ coaching legacy continues as Noelle Quinn elevated to Head Coach
SEATTLE — The Seattle Storm announced today that Dan Hughes will be retiring from the WNBA. Hughes’ tenure in the league has spanned 20 years including coaching assignments with Charlotte, Cleveland, San Antonio, Seattle.
Hughes, who will remain as assistant coach for USA Basketball in the upcoming 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, closes out his career with the second most games coached in WNBA history (598), and is tied for the third-most wins with 286. 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. 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.
“After over 40 years of coaching basketball, I want to finish my career with the focus and determination with which I started,” said Hughes. “The Seattle Storm is in amazing shape, after two championships and a terrific playoff run in 2019, I would like to announce my retirement from the WNBA. I believe now is the right time because the team is performing well, but the rigors of being a head coach in the WNBA have taken their toll on me. I look forward to coaching with USA Basketball at the 2021 Olympics then leveraging my experience to give back to the game in other ways. Mary and I value the relationships we have formed in Seattle over the past four years and want to thank everyone for their ongoing support.”
“It is rare when a leader has the foresight to make changes at the pinnacle of their career,” said Lisa Brummel, co-owner of the Storm. “Under Dan’s leadership, the Storm have won two championships and he has built a great coaching staff here in Seattle. His dedication to his craft is second to none and his legacy is perfectly exemplified by his unselfish nature and ability to see all that lies ahead. It has been an honor to have Dan coach in Seattle and he will forever be attached to one of the most successful periods this franchise has known.”
Hughes will be replaced in the head coaching position by Noelle Quinn. Currently, the associate head coach, Quinn will step into the top position and will be supported by assistant coaches, Gary Kloppenburg, Ryan Webb, and Perry Huang.
“I am excited to hand the reins to Noelle,” Hughes said.” She is well positioned to do this job and I am proud to have mentored her during my time here. I look forward to her and the team’s ongoing success”.
Quinn joined the Storm coaching staff in 2019 following her first championship as a player in 2018. She has been instrumental in running the offense schemes for the Storm and has, most recently, handled the head coaching job in a 90-87 win over the Connecticut Sun.
Quinn joins the long list of Hughes’ former players and assistants what are abundant among the WNBA coaching ranks. WNBA head coaches under Hughes include: 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; Phoenix’s Sandy Brondello, who served on his staff in San Antonio from 2005-09; and Dallas’ Vickie Johnson, who played for Hughes from 2006 until her retirement in 2009, and joined his staff as an assistant from 2011-16. Many of his former players have also gone on to coach in the professional ranks, such as Becky Hammon, an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. Seven of Hughes’ assistants have ascended to head coaching position, and he or his former assistants have won nine of the last 11 WNBA championships.
—— StormBasketball.com ——