NEW YORK – Dan Hughes is coming back to the WNBA as coach of the Seattle Storm, multiple people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday night because the team has not announced the move.
Hughes spent 11 years as the head coach and general manager for San Antonio, guiding the Stars to six postseason appearances before retiring after the 2016 season. The 62-year-old coach replaces Gary Kloppenburg, who was Seattle’s interim coach after the team fired Jenny Boucek on Aug. 10. Kloppenburg helped guide the Storm to the playoffs as the No. 8 seed where they lost in the opening round to Dallas.
Hughes will just coach the Storm as team president Alisha Valavanis is also the general manager.
Seattle has a solid nucleus for Hughes to work with led by Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd. The Storm, who were 15-19 this year, also have the fifth pick in a loaded draft next April. They have a few key free agents like Crystal Langhorne they’ll have to figure out what to do with.
Hughes spent 2017 as a TV analyst and is the team’s sixth head coach following Lin Dunn, Anne Donovan, Brian Agler, Boucek and Kloppenburg. Hughes, who previously coached the defunct Charlotte Sting and Cleveland Rockers, has coached more WNBA games (524) than anyone in league history and is 237-287 in his career. That’s the third most wins all-time in the league. He won WNBA Coach of the Year twice garnering the honor in 2001 when he was with Cleveland and then again in 2007 in San Antonio.
He told the AP in 2016 that he was retiring to spend more time with his family and watch his son play basketball for Air Force. Hughes will be able to do that still as well as spend time with his four grandchildren.
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