- The Washington Times - Friday, April 22, 2005


The Washington Mystics hired Richie Adubato to take over as the team’s coach a week after Michael Adams resigned.

Adubato, who spent 51/2 seasons with the New York Liberty, becomes the eighth coach in the Mystics’ eight-year history.

He replaced Adams, who resigned last week to accept an assistant coaching gig with the University of Maryland men’s basketball team.

Adubato went 100-79 with the Liberty and led the club to three Eastern Conference titles. New York fired him last July.

“We are thrilled to attract a coach of Richie Adubato’s caliber,” Mystics general manager Linda Hargrove said. “His experience and success in the WNBA speaks for itself and he is highly respected by his colleagues and players.”

Adubato made three head coaching stops in the NBA during his career. He went 12-58 with the Detroit Pistons in 1979-80, finishing the season for the fired Dick Vitale. During a 1989-93 stint with the Dallas Mavericks, he went 99-170. He was replaced by future Washington Wizards coach Gar Heard after Dallas got off to a 2-27 start in 1992-93.

Adubato also completed the 1996-97 season with Orlando, going 21-12 after replacing Brian Hill.

The Mystics are coming off a 17-17 season under Adams, who led the team to a playoff berth despite the absence of star forward Chamique Holdsclaw in the final portion of the season. Holdsclaw has since been dealt to Los Angeles.

Adubato comes to a franchise that has had little coaching stability. Since the Mystics began play in 1998, only Marianne Stanley (2002-03) has coached at least two full seasons.

Nevertheless, Adubato is eager for his opportunity in Washington.

“I am excited to join the Mystics organization and team,” Adubato said. “MCI Center is a great place to play. Washington has a tremendous fan base and that helps the team play hard every night.”

In addition to coaching in both the NBA and WNBA, Adubato coached for 18 years at the high school and college levels in New Jersey where he had an overall record of 290-85.

“I can’t imagine us getting someone that has more experience and success than Richie,” said Mystics player personnel consultant Pat Summitt. “We are excited to have him in place and we are anxious to get started.”

The Mystics open the regular season May 21 at Charlotte. The Mystics have two exhibitions scheduled, May 5 at Houston and May 10 at MCI Center against Los Angeles.

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