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Liberty not renewing Katie Smith’s contract

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 16, 2019

In this Aug. 20, 2019 photo, New York Liberty coach Katie Smith watches during the second half of the team’s WNBA basketball game against the Indiana Fever in Indianapolis. (Darron Cummings / Associated Press)
In this Aug. 20, 2019 photo, New York Liberty coach Katie Smith watches during the second half of the team’s WNBA basketball game against the Indiana Fever in Indianapolis. (Darron Cummings / Associated Press)
By Doug Feinberg Associated Press

NEW YORK – The New York Liberty are not renewing the contract of head coach Katie Smith the team announced Wednesday.

Smith’s current contract ends this month. She was elevated to the team’s head coaching position in 2018 after serving as an assistant and associate head coach since 2014.

“On behalf of the entire Liberty organization, we want to thank Katie for her time with our franchise,” New York Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb said in a statement. “These decisions are never easy to make, but we felt it necessary to move our organization forward in a new direction.”

The team went 10-24 this past season, following up a 7-27 record in Smith’s first year as head coach.

The future is bright for the team with New York holding the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft. The Liberty had the No. 2 pick last season and selected Asia Durr, who was injured for half of the season.

Smith walked into a difficult situation last year with the Liberty up for sale and the team’s home games moved to Westchester where they were played in a roughly 2,500-seat arena that was rarely sold out.

The 45-year-old Hall of Fame player finished her playing career with New York in 2013.

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