Dallas Wings announce 2018 coaching staff: Erin Phillips in, Pettis retires from coaching

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 6: Fred Williams of the Dallas Wings talks to Erin Phillips
ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 6: Fred Williams of the Dallas Wings talks to Erin Phillips /

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Yesterday, the Dallas Wings announced their 2018 coaching staff. Fred Williams returns for his third season in Dallas, and ninth overall in the WNBA. Williams has led Dallas to the WNBA playoffs twice, including capturing the eight and final playoff spot last year.

Rejoining Williams is bench coach Taj McWilliams-Franklin. In her first season with the Wings, McWilliams-Franklin focused on post players. The two-time WNBA champion will reprise her role with post player development, and also focus on scouting and defensive concepts, said Williams in the team’s press release.

Related Story: Taj McWilliams-Franklin talks opportunities for retired WNBA players

Changing of the guard

Erin Phillips, former Wings guard and current Director of Player & Franchise Development will serve as assistant coach for the 2018 season. WNBA veteran Bridget Pettis announced her retirement from coaching, Phillips will replace Pettis. This will be Phillips first coaching opportunity.

“I am extremely excited for this opportunity to work with and alongside Fred,” said Phillips. “ I can’t thank him and Greg Bibb enough for providing me with this next step in my coaching career. The future of this young Dallas Wings team is incredibly bright and I know the best is yet to come.”

“We are excited to have Erin’s role with the Dallas Wings organization continue to evolve,” Wings President and CEO Greg Bibb stated. “We thank Bridget for all of her work on the team’s behalf and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.”

“I want to thank the WNBA, and all the organizations that I’ve had the opportunity to work with in this 21-year journey,” said Pettis. In 2014, she joined the Tulsa Shock and followed the team to Dallas two years later.

“Special thanks to the Dallas Wings organization for a wonderful opportunity in helping build the foundation of what is to come.  I thank my family and friends for the support and most of all God for everything.”

Looking ahead

This Dallas team got a taste for the playoffs last season. Williams is eager for the coaching staff to guide the team to a deeper run in the future.

“I’m really excited Taj and Erin will continue helping us develop our young team,” stated Williams. “They are experienced coaches that have won championships in our league as players and are now looking to pursue championships as coaches.”

In addition to experience, Phillips brings a familiarity to the team as a staff member and a player.  “I look up to [Erin Phillips] a lot,”  Wings center Theresa Plaisance told The Summitt last season. “She’s been a really good coach to have – a very great basketball mind and I’m always going to her [for advice]”

Additionally, the  LSU aluma has also enjoyed her time with McWilliams-Franklin as she looks to maximize her playing career. “If anybody knows how to extend their career to the fullest, it’s Taj,” said Plaisance.   “As I get older, developing my game, seeing how I can change the way I do things to help my career to have longevity [is key]. So, having coach Taj is really great.”

The Dallas Wings return will return 2017 All-WNBA First Team guard Skylar Diggins-Smith, as well as  2017 Rookie of the Year Allisha Gray.