After two single-digit win seasons, the Washington Mystics have fired coach-general manager Trudi Lacey. In her two seasons at the helm, Lacey went 11-57. Lacey was named coach and general manager in November of 2010, after spending the two previous years as an assistant coach.
The Mystics had a record of 6-28 last season and 5-29 this season — the two worst marks for the Washington franchise since its inaugural season in 1998, when the team finished 3-27.
The Mystics also ended the 2012 campaign on a 13-game losing streak, the longest in franchise history. Prior to this season, the Mystics had two 11-game losing streaks during the 1998 and 2003 seasons.
“We are looking forward to a fresh start with our core returning players, a high draft pick that will yield an impact player and a new direction in basketball operations,” said Mystics owner Sheila Johnson in a statement.
“Everyone in our organization recognizes how frustrating the season has been and would like to thank our fans for their support. We thank Trudi for her dedicated work and wish her well in her future endeavors.”
Prior to her tenure in Washington, Lacey was the coach and general manager for the Charlotte Sting from 2003 to 2005.
Lacey led the team to a 37-55 record in two and half seasons. After getting off to a 3-21 start in 2005, Lacey stepped down as coach and was replaced on the bench by Muggsy Bogues, but retained her role as general manager. The Sting folded after the 2006 season.
Lacey began her coaching career in the college ranks, and she has had coaching stints at the University of Maryland, Queens University in Charlotte, NAIA Francis Marion College, Manhattan College, James Madison University and the University of South Florida.
Lacey also worked with USA Basketball during the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney Australia.
A former basketball player at North Carolina State, where she played for Kay Yow, Lacey was an All-American who was named to the ACC All-Legend team, and had her number retired in 2000.
One season prior to Lacey’s tenure as head coach and general manager, the Mystics enjoyed their best regular season in franchise history. It was in 2010 and the Mystics finished 22-12, but they were swept in the playoffs by the Atlanta Dream. Angela Taylor was the team’s general manger and Julie Plank was the coach.
But in a move that confused much of the Mystics fan base, Taylor was let go and Plank chose to leave rather than assume the duties of both coach and general manager.
On the court, problems mounted when point guard Lindsey Harding, the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft, asked to be traded and four-time All-Star Alana Beard missed nearly all of the 2010 and 2011 seasons with injuries.
The Mystics will get a boost in their rebuilding efforts during this year’s WNBA Draft. They’ll will learn their draft position in the draft lottery, which will be held on Sept. 26. The Mystics have a 42 percent chance of getting the top pick.
The consensus No. 1 is 6-foot-8 Baylor center Brittney Griner, a three-time All-American.