The Indiana Fever will hire longtime WNBA assistant Christie Sides as their head coach, Just Women’s Sports and Winsidr analyst Rachel Galligan first reported Thursday.
Sides has over 20 years of WNBA coaching experience, including three seasons as an assistant coach with the Fever from 2018-19. Most recently, she was an assistant coach on Tanisha Wright’s Atlanta Dream staff last season, helping the team improve from eight wins in 2021 to 14 and a near playoff spot in 2022. Previously, she spent six seasons with the Chicago Sky, who won their first Eastern Conference championship in 2014 and made four straight WNBA playoff appearances with Sides on the sidelines.
In between WNBA coaching stints, Sides served as the associate head coach for Louisiana-Monroe from 2019-21 and for Northwestern in 2017. Overseas, she helped lead Spartak Moscow Region to consecutive EuroLeague Championships alongside head coach Pokey Chatman in 2008 and 2009.
Sides beat out other finalists Brian Agler, Vickie Johnson and Katie Smith for the job, according to Howard Megdal of The Next Hoops.
The Fever are in the midst of the longest active playoff drought in the WNBA, having not appeared in the postseason since 2016. Indiana has won just 11 games combined in 2021 and 2022, finishing as the last-place team each season. After firing head coach Marianne Stanley nine games into the 2022 campaign, the Fever opted not to retain interim coach Carlos Knox for the 2023 season.
Despite the recent turmoil, Indiana enters the new year with a wealth of young talent on the roster after a successful 2022 draft. NaLyssa Smith (No. 2 pick), Emily Engstler (No. 4), Lexie Hull (No. 6), Queen Egbo (No. 10) and Destanni Henderson (No. 20) all return after promising rookie campaigns.
The Fever also have the best odds of landing the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft — and the rights to presumed top prospect Aliyah Boston — during the WNBA Draft Lottery on Nov. 11.