In a matter of hours, two of the 12 head coaching jobs in the WNBA came open on Monday. First, Walt Hopkins and the New York Liberty agreed to part ways, a rather stunning move considering New York had made the leap to being a playoff team in 2021 and seemed to be a team on the rise.
Later in the evening, the team that beat the Liberty in the first round of the playoffs, the Phoenix Mercury, made an even more shocking announcement that they too would be searching for a new coach after parting ways with Sandy Brondello, fresh off a run to the WNBA Finals where they fell to the Chicago Sky, 3-1.
On behalf of the entire X-Factor, thank you, Sandy. pic.twitter.com/N8elIOG07h
— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) December 6, 2021
Brondello won the Finals in her first season in Phoenix in 2013 and led the Mercury to the playoffs in each of her eight seasons. That the Mercury, coming off a Finals trip, now have a coaching opening, there will be plenty of speculation and interest in one of the best jobs in the WNBA, where Britney Griner, Skylar Diggins-Smith, and Diana Taurasi make Phoenix a perennial contender.
The Suns have those three all under contract for another year, but some significant decisions to make this offseason to round out the roster around those three to try and make another push for a title with Taurasi. A new coach will be tasked with putting all of that together, and we’ll have to wait and see who Phoenix tabs to take over.