A strong choice with WNBA pedigree
The Indiana Fever have chosen their new leader, and it is a woman familiar to many around the league. Marianne Stanley, most recently a top assistant to Mike Thibault with the Washington Mystics, but with a coaching resume that is more than four decades long, will take the helm with an Indiana Fever team on the cusp of success, two league sources confirmed to High Post Hoops.
Stanley, 65, takes over for Pokey Chatman, who led the Fever to a disappointing 13-21 mark in her final season as head coach and general manager, but had the team trending up over the final few weeks of the season.
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A comprehensive search included prominent franchise figures Kelly Krauskopf and Lin Dunn in an advisory role, along with, of course, vice president of basketball operations Tamika Catchings. Catchings will also now serve as general manager.
Stanley comes out of the Philadelphia basketball tradition that produced head coaches like Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame and Geno Auriemma of Connecticut, and began her coaching journey in college, with Old Dominion, Penn, USC, Stanford and Cal in various capacities before joining the Los Angeles Sparks as an assistant in 2000. She led the Washington Mystics as head coach to the 2002 Eastern Conference finals, earning WNBA coach of the year honors, and went on to tours of duty as an assistant in New York, Los Angeles and, since 2010, back in Washington.
She inherits a roster filled with promise, from recent lottery picks Kelsey Mitchell at combo guard to 6’7 center Teaira McCowan, who was as dominant over the second half of last season as either of the more talked about rookies, Arike Ogunbowale of the Dallas Wings and Napheesa Collier of the Minnesota Lynx.
Stanley will have another elite young talent to mold as well, with Indiana holding the third overall pick in the 2020 draft.
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