Dan Hughes announced his immediate retirement from the WNBA on Sunday, bringing to a close more than two decades of coaching in the league and the closure of his successful tenure with the Seattle Storm.
“After over 40 years of coaching basketball, I want to finish my career with the focus and determination with which I started,” Dan Hughes said in a statement. “The Seattle Storm is in amazing shape, after two championships and a terrific playoff run in 2019, I would like to announce my retirement from the WNBA. I believe now is the right time because the team is performing well, but the rigors of being a head coach in the WNBA have taken their toll on me. I look forward to coaching with USA Basketball at the 2021 Olympics, then leveraging my experience to give back to the game in other ways.”
Hughes served as head coach of the Charlotte Sting (1999), Cleveland Rockers (2000-2003), San Antonio Stars (2005-2009, 2011-2016), and Seattle Storm (2018-2019, 2021). He won the 2018 WNBA championship and built the team that claimed the 2020 title with Gary Kloppenburg officially at the helm as Hughes was not able to coach, because he wasn’t medically cleared to travel to the league’s bubble. He began his coaching career in 1977 as a men’s basketball graduate assistant at Miami (OH), entering the WNBA in 1999 as an assistant for the Sting.
Now six games into the 2021 campaign, Hughes is calling it a career, handing the 5-1 Storm off to assistant Noelle Quinn.
“You never know when the right time is,” Dan Hughes told ESPN on Sunday. “I have this conversation with a lot of us older coaches. To be honest with you, the time seems to be right. The way that the team has kind of evolved, the reality I think of how I’ve kind of leaned on Noey and leaned on Klop and how well they work together. When I was talking with ownership, it just seemed like the right moment.
“Honestly, I’ve thought about it even before the season from the standpoint of it’s always been important for me to kind of leave — knowing this near the end of my career — leaving it in a better position than I found it,” he continued. “That’s just one of the staples of my career. The other is mentoring people and doing those things, especially the former players of mine. It’s been something I’ve thought about for a long time, just wanting to make sure that when the time was right, that there was the ability to kind of hand it off, so to speak.”
Dan Hughes leaves the WNBA with the second-most games coached in the league’s history at 598 and is tied for the third-most wins of 286. He won Coach of the Year twice (2001, 2007).
Now for some other news from across the sport this week:
Nothing But News: May 25-31, 2021
Several negative displays from fans happened across the NBA during the week, from a fan in Boston narrowly missing Kyrie Irving with a water bottle to a fan in Philadelphia who dumped popcorn on Russell Westbrook’s head and more.
Illinois state lawmakers passed legislation that allows college athletes in the state to hire agents and sign endorsement deals beginning this summer.
Mark Eaton, former Utah center and two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, died at age 64 after a bicycle crash.
Drew Timme announced he will return to Gonzaga for his junior season.
Kofi Cockburn announced he will remain in the NBA Draft.
We’re getting a rematch of the unforgettably men’s basketball Final Four classic between Gonzaga and UCLA.
Get Caught Up on NBN Content!
Here’s a recap of some of our content from the last week:
Curt Miller Fine & Suspension Over Liz Cambage Comment Is Comical
Connecticut Sun head coach Curt Miller was fined $10,000 and suspended for a game for saying, “C’mon, she’s 300 pounds” to an official about Liz Cambage in an effort to get a call. Justin Meyer thinks the entire situation is a joke, and here’s why.
When Did the Nets Last Make the NBA Finals?
The Brooklyn Nets are one of the favorites to win this year’s NBA championship, let alone make it to the NBA Finals. So, when was the last time the Nets made it to the ultimate series? Well, here’s a hint: they weren’t playing in Brooklyn.
COVID-19 Can, Will Affect College Recruiting – Mark Edwards Monthly
In May 2020, Justin Meyer and Mark Edwards had a discussion about the impact COVID-19 would have on college recruiting. Now about a year later, we’re looking back at that conversation to see how correct they were.
WNBA Commissioner’s Cup Standings
The WNBA Commissioner’s Cup is underway. Take a look at our regularly-updated standings for the mini-competition the league is hosting in the midst of the first half of its regular season.