Marianne Stanley, who spent this decade as an assistant coach for the Washington Mystics, has been hired as the new head coach of the Indiana Fever.
Stanley, 65, served on coach Mike Thibault’s staff as the Mystics won their first WNBA title in franchise history in October.
A coach at the collegiate and pro levels since 1977, this will be Stanley’s second stint as a WNBA head coach. She led the Mystics in 2002 and 2003, winning WNBA Coach of the Year in her first season when she brought Washington to the conference finals for the first time.
Stanley is a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and is considered an important figure in the history of the sport. She won national college championships as a player at Immaculata University and as a coach at Old Dominion.
“Stanley is hands down one of the most decorated and experienced coaches in the WNBA,” Fever general manager Tamika Catchings said in a statement. “Coming off the Mystics’ championship run this year, she brings a championship type mentality and knows what it takes to win — both on and off the court.”
Stanley made her way back to Washington as an assistant coach in 2010 and worked under multiple head coaches.
“We are all so happy for Marianne as she heads up a new era in Indiana,” Thibault said in a statement. “It was extremely important to me when I took the job here to try to convince Marianne to remain part of the coaching staff. Luckily for all of us, she did, and she has been a great contributor to our success the past seven years.”
The Mystics likely will have to hire another assistant to fill the vacancy Stanley created. Thibault’s coaching staff also includes his son, Eric Thibault. The elder Thibault told The Washington Times that his son received an offer to become a head coach elsewhere last offseason, but he opted to stay in Washington.