Veteran assistant coach Gary Kloppenburg elevated to head coach
SEATTLE – The Storm announced today that Head Coach Dan Hughes will not be joining the team in Florida for the 2020 WNBA season. Following a medical assessment by the league and in consultation with his primary physician, it was determined that Hughes could be at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
“While the Storm family is greatly disappointed that Dan will not be able to join the team this season, his health and family are the top priority. We know he will continue to be an important voice of support for the team and staff while we compete this season,” said Alisha Valavanis, CEO and General Manager of the Storm.
“I am saddened that I won’t be able to travel with the team as everyone knows how much love I have for this organization. I am thankful to be in good health and looking forward to supporting Coach Klopp and the staff and players in any way I can this season,” Hughes said.
The Storm also announced that Gary Kloppenburg will serve as the head coach of the Storm for the 2020 season. A veteran member of the Seattle coaching staff, Kloppenburg first joined the Storm for the 2000-2002 seasons and returned in 2017 after working in various coaching capacities on both NBA and WNBA staffs. Kloppenburg served as interim head coach on two occasions following a head coaching change in 2017 and also during Hughes’s recovery from cancer surgery last season.
“Klopp is a veteran coach in this league and within our organization. His defensive background as well as his presence as a seasoned head coach position us well to compete for a championship,” Valavanis said.
The Storm also announced the promotion of Noelle Quinn to associate head coach. Quinn is a 12-year veteran of the WNBA, retiring after the 2018 championship and joining the Storm coaching staff for the 2019 season. She is a well-respected voice in the league, among players and her colleagues. She will partner with Kloppenburg, handling offensive strategy and supporting game management.
“Noey is an up-and-coming star in the WNBA coaching ranks. Her knowledge of the game and feel for the players’ experience make her a natural fit for our coaching staff. We are excited for her promotion and for the additional responsibility she will assume,” added Valavanis.
Kloppenburg and Quinn will be joined on the staff by assistant coach Ryan Webb.