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Sandy Brondello named head coach of New York Liberty

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The New York Liberty have made Sandy Brondello’s hire official, announcing her as the organization’s ninth head coach on Friday.

The announcement comes a week after ESPN first reported that Brondello was expected to be fill the Liberty’s vacancy. The head coach of the Australian national team parted ways with the Phoenix Mercury in December after eight seasons.

“Sandy brings a wealth of coaching experience and is a proven winner with a championship pedigree, both as a player and coach in the WNBA and internationally,” said Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb. “Throughout her longstanding professional coaching career, she has demonstrated her ability to build consistent and sustained success as a skilled leader and mentor on and off the court. We are thrilled to welcome her to New York as we move forward in our pursuit of winning a WNBA Championship.”

Brondello led Phoenix to a 150-108 overall record and made the playoffs every season of her tenure. In 2021, the Mercury made it to the WNBA Finals before falling to the Chicago Sky in four games. With nine years of head coaching experience, Brondello ranks as the 10th-winningest head coach in WNBA history.

The Liberty have been searching for their next head coach since they parted ways with Walt Hopkins in early December. In Hopkins’ second season with the Liberty in 2021, New York went 12-20 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

“It is an honor to join the historic New York Liberty franchise and to coach and lead such a talented roster of players,” Brondello said. “I owe immense gratitude to the team’s ownership and front office for entrusting me with this important role during such an integral time in the history of the organization. Alongside my family, I’m excited to move to New York City and begin preparations for our upcoming season.”

Brondello will work with one of the most exciting young rosters in the WNBA. Returning next season are 2020 No. 1 draft pick Sabrina Ionescu, 2021 WNBA Rookie of the Year Michaela Onyenwere and 2021 All-Star Betnijah Laney. Three-time WNBA champion Natasha Howard will also return for a second season in New York.