Dan Hughes, one of the most successful coaches in WNBA history, announced on Sunday that he is retiring as head coach of Seattle Storm.
Noelle Quinn will step in as the team’s new coach, the Storm announced in a press release.
Hughes will continue to coach as an assistant with USA Basketball at the 2021 Summer Olympics.
Hughes said Storm was in “amazing shape” after winning WNBA titles in 2018 and 2020 and making a strong playoff series in 2019. Seattle is 5-1 this season.
“After more than 40 years of coaching basketball, I want to end my career with the focus and determination that I started with,” he said. “I think it’s a good time because the team is performing well, but the rigors of being head coach of the WNBA have taken its toll on me. I can’t wait to coach with USA Basketball at the Olympics. 2021 and then use my experience to give back to the game in other ways. Mary (Hughes’ wife) and I appreciate the relationship we’ve built in Seattle over the past four years and want to thank everyone for their continued support. “
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Hughes retires from the storm after coaching the second most game in WNBA history (598) recorded the third most wins (286).
His first job as a WNBA coach was as an assistant with the Charlotte Sting in 1999. He took over as head coach later that season. He coached the Cleveland Rockers from 2000 to 2003 before passing two stints on the sidelines with the San Antonio Stars between 2005-09 and 2011-16, separated by a stint as general manager in 2010. He was named WNBA coach of the year in 2001 with the Rockers and in 2007 with the then Silver Stars.
Hughes, 66, coached the Storm in 2018 and led them to a WNBA title. He missed part of the 2019 season after surgery and treatment for a cancerous tumor in his digestive tract. He was not a coach in the 2020 season because he was considered to be at high risk for serious illness from the coronavirus.
Quinn has played 14 seasons in the WNBA, averaging 4.8 points, 2.3 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. She played under Hughes in 2018 before joining her team as an assistant in 2019.
She is the last former player or coach under Hughes to become the head coach of the WNBA. James Wade (Chicago Sky), Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx), Sandy Brondello (Phoenix Mercury) and Vickie Johnson (Dallas Wings) all spent time playing or coaching under Hughes before taking on head coaching jobs. .
“I am delighted to hand over the reins to Noelle,” said Hughes. “She is well placed 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 success.”