Stephanie White’s first season with the Connecticut Sun has been a success. Now, her work has been formally recognized.

White was named 2023 WNBA Coach of the Year, the league announced Sunday, having received 36 of 60 possible votes. The Sun earned the No. 3 seed in the playoffs after a 27-13 regular season despite significant roster turnover.

“We’re honest. We’re transparent. We expect a lot, they give a lot, and they expect a lot from each other, and they expect a lot from us,” White said in an interview with ESPN. “I think that allows us to, I guess for lack of a better term, overachieve when people think we might not be or would have been in the position that we’re in.”

The Sun lost Jonquel Jones, the 2021 WNBA MVP, and Jasmine Thomas in the offseason. Then, two-time All-Star Brionna Jones suffered a torn Achilles in June, ending her season.

But Connecticut marched on, with Alyssa Thomas and others leading the way. Thomas averaged 15.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.8 steals during the regular season.

“Everyone here has had the expectation that we want to compete for a championship, and that’s just our mindset,” White said.

The Sun earned their seventh-straight playoff berth, and then beat the Minnesota Lynx, 90-60, in the first game of their opening round series.

“We know their back is against the wall, but we have to play like our back is against the wall every possession as well,” White said. “So I’m pleased with how we came out and performed, but I know that game’s over and we’ve got to do that again and we’ve got to take it to another level.”

The Connecticut Sun will hire Stephanie White as their next head coach, the team announced Monday.

The former Indiana Fever player and head coach will replace Curt Miller, who led the Sun to the WNBA Finals in 2022 and to at least the semifinals in each of the last four seasons. Miller was named head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks in October after the Sparks parted ways with Derek Fisher in the middle of the 2022 season.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the Connecticut Sun family,” White said in a statement. “I have admired the organization from afar since its inception and am looking forward to building on the strong foundation that has been established

ESPN first reported the hire on Nov. 7. The 45-year-old started her coaching career as an assistant in the college ranks, then made the jump to the WNBA, where she started as an assistant for the Chicago Sky in 2007.

She left the Sky to join Lin Dunn’s coaching staff with the Fever in 2011, and she won a championship with the team as an assistant coach in 2012. When Dunn retired after the 2014 season, White took the helm.

In two seasons as the head coach of the Fever, she posted a 37-31 overall record while leading the team to the WNBA Finals in her first season in 2015. White left after the 2016 season to become the head coach at Vanderbilt for five seasons. The school did not renew her contract in 2021.

Just Women’s Sports analyst Rachel Galligan tabbed White as one of the 12 top coaching candidates during the 2021 offseason, alongside Latricia Trammel, who earlier this week was announced as the Dallas Wings’ head coach.

With White joining the Sun, all the head coach openings in the WNBA have been filled. Trammel was named the Wings coach, and Christie Sides was hired as the Indiana Fever coach.

“Stephanie White is the right coach at the right time for our organization,” Sun president Jen Rizzotti said. “She’s a proven winner that understands the high expectations we have within the Connecticut Sun organization and our fan base. She has been a part of championships as both a player and a coach, and that is the mentality I was looking to add.”