An original member of the Mercury returns to the team
The Phoenix Mercury added another former player to their staff on Monday. After announcing the hiring of Penny Taylor as an assistant coach last week, the team has now hired Jennifer Gillom under the title of Player Development Coach. Gillom’s fifth stop in the WNBA coaching ranks comes with the organization she first played for.
Gillom was one of the two players the Mercury drafted as part of the original formation of the WNBA in January 1997. After spending six years in the league, including the first five with the Mercury, she moved on to coaching.
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Her first coaching stop was at Xavier College Preparatory, an all-girls Catholic school in Phoenix, the year after retiring from the WNBA. Over a tenure that stretched from 2004-2009, her teams went 130-25 and made the postseason every year.
The WNBA came calling while she was still with Xavier. Her first professional coaching gig came with the Minnesota Lynx, who hired her as an assistant coach in 2008. She was appointed as interim head coach of the Lynx just days before the 2009 season and was tapped for the L.A. Sparks’ head coaching position the next year.
After going 42-60 over her three years in the head coaching ranks, Gillom returned to assistant coaching. She joined the staff of the Washington Mystics in 2012, then moved on to the Connecticut Sun in 2013.
Gillom eventually left the WNBA ranks, returning to Phoenix and re-joining the staff at Xavier for the 2016-17 season. After one year as an assistant coach, she once again took over the head coaching position in April 2017. She immediately led her team to the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s 6A championship game, where they finished as the runners-up among Arizona’s largest schools.
Gillom will continue her coaching work at the high school level as she takes on her new position with the Mercury, according to the Arizona Republic.
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