Nygaard joins Atlanta’s Tanisha Wright, Seattle’s Noelle Quin, Dallas’s Vickie Johnson, Las Vegas’s Becky Hammon and New York’s Sandy Brondello as former WNBA players turned head coaches.
Hammon and Nygaard were both brought on ahead of the 2022 season, while Quinn was hired by the Storm in June of 2021.
50% of @WNBA Head Coaches are Legends - former players of the league— Bridget Gannon (@Bridget_Gannon_) January 21, 2022
🔸Vanessa Nygaard, @PhoenixMercury
🔸Tanisha Wright, @AtlantaDream #BetOnWomen #WNBATwitter pic.twitter.com/ih3mHTdVNJ
The most recent WNBA coaching hires highlight a welcome trend in a league that has historically struggled to solidify a player-to-coach pipeline. With eight of the 12 WNBA head coaching positions now filled by women, the league has also slowly begun addressing gender disparities at the front of the bench.
While progress has undoubtedly been made in the 25-year-old league, WNBA insiders are still pushing for the development of a deeper coaching pool to foster up-and-coming talents.
The game was the most-watched regular-season matchup since 2017.
She also has started every game this season for undefeated LSU.
Copper is the team's only returning starter in 2023.
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