Seattle Storm coach Dan Hughes announces retirement after 20 seasons in WNBA

Written By Edward Sutelan
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Dan Hughes, one of the winningest coaches in WNBA history, announced Sunday that he was retiring as Seattle Storm head coach. 

Noelle Quinn will step in as the team's new coach, the Storm announced in a press release

Hughes will continue coaching as an assistant with USA Basketball in the 2021 Summer Olympics.

Hughes said the Storm are in "amazing shape" after winning WNBA titles in 2018 and 2020 and making a strong playoff run in 2019. Seattle is 5-1 this season.

"After over 40 years of coaching basketball, I want to finish my career with the focus and determination with which I started," he said. "I believe now is the right time because the team is performing well, but the rigors of being a head coach in the WNBA have taken their toll on me. I look forward to coaching with USA Basketball at the 2021 Olympics then leveraging my experience to give back to the game in other ways. Mary (Hughes' wife) and I value the relationships we have formed in Seattle over the past four years and want to thank everyone for their ongoing support."

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Hughes retires from the Storm having coached the second-most games in WNBA history (598) recorded the third-most wins (286).

His first WNBA coaching job was as an assistant with the Charlotte Sting in 1999. He took over as their head coach later that season. He coached the Cleveland Rockers from 2000-03 before spending two stints on the sideline with the San Antonio Stars between 2005-09 and 2011-16, separated by a stint as general manager in 2010. He was named WNBA Coach of the Year in 2001 with the Rockers and in 2007 with the then-Silver Stars.

Hughes, 66, coached the Storm in 2018 and led them to a WNBA title. He missed part of the 2019 season after surgery and treatment for a cancerous tumor in his digestive tract. He did not coach in the 2020 season because he was considered to be at high risk of severe illness related to the coronavirus. 

Quinn played 14 seasons in the WNBA, averaging 4.8 points, 2.3 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. She played under Hughes in 2018 before joining his staff as an assistant in 2019. 

She is the latest former player or coach under Hughes to become a WNBA head coach. James Wade (Chicago Sky), Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx), Sandy Brondello (Phoenix Mercury) and Vickie Johnson (Dallas Wings) all spent time playing or coaching under Hughes before taking head coaching jobs.

"I am excited to hand the reins to Noelle," Hughes said. "She is well positioned to do this job and I am proud to have mentored her during my time here. I look forward to her and the team’s ongoing success."

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