4: 54 PM ET
Kevin PeltonESPN Senior Creator
Seattle Storm coach Dan Hughes, a WNBA champion and two-time Coach of the twelve months, announced his retirement on Sunday.
Hughes, 66, spent greater than two decades instructing within the WNBA, with old stints in Charlotte, Cleveland and San Antonio. He led the Storm to the 2018 championship and constructed the team that won the 2020 championship with Gary Kloppenburg on the sidelines after Hughes used to be no longer medically cleared to commute to the WNBA’s campus blueprint for the season.
In an announcement during the team on Sunday, Hughes acknowledged the “Storm is in improbable shape, after two championships and a important playoff lag in 2019.”
Noelle Quinn, who performed for the Storm sooner than retiring to affix the instructing workers in 2019, will snatch over as coach, inheriting a team that had the WNBA’s 2d-very most sensible file at 5-1 coming into Sunday’s games.
“You by no map know when the factual time is,” Hughes told ESPN on Sunday. “I’ve this conversation with deal of us older coaches. To be unprejudiced appropriate with you, the time looks to be factual. The system that the team has form of evolved, the reality I judge how I’ve form of leaned on Noey and leaned on Klop and how successfully they work collectively. After I was speaking with ownership, it real gave the impression admire the factual moment.
“In truth, I’ve thought about it even sooner than the season from the standpoint of it’s always been indispensable for me to form of skedaddle away — lustrous this shut to the tip of my profession — leaving it within the next blueprint than I came throughout it. That is real one amongst the staples of my profession. The different is mentoring folks and doing these items, especially the broken-down gamers of mine. It is been something I’ve thought about for a lengthy time, real making an strive to kind clear when the time used to be factual, that there used to be the ability to form of hand it off, so that you just might maybe perchance talk.”
That job accelerated all around the final week, when Hughes briefly left the team to inspire his son’s graduation from the Air Force Academy. With Quinn and Kloppenburg sharing the responsibilities of acting head coach, Seattle handed the Connecticut Sun a 90-87 past new time loss, their first setback this season.
“I undergo in mind calling [Quinn] after the game and announcing I am so ample with you, observing your presence and what you potentially can successfully be doing,” Hughes acknowledged. “It is real humorous how in most cases things form of fall into blueprint for a goal. I continuously preach about observing the wander you potentially can successfully be on, whether or no longer it’s a long way a team or an particular person, ensuing from in most cases that wander will educate you and have moments that you just in fact have to peep, and I thought that used to be potentially one factual there.”
After discussing retirement along with his family, Hughes shared his decision with the Storm’s gamers and coaches on Sunday. His three-plus seasons in Seattle capped a profession that sees Hughes diagram with the 2d-most games coached in WNBA historical past (598) and tied for third in wins (286).
“Merely blessed,” acknowledged Hughes of his time with the Storm. “I thought I had retired once sooner than [after the 2016 season], however to shut right here, to kind some of the most relationships that I’ve made with gamers — mountainous gamers, I’d add — to kind a relationship with a metropolis … I real essentially feel blessed. I’d had been joyful where I was in San Antonio, however I will no longer factor in what I’d have missed without this likelihood right here.”
Main among what Hughes would have missed: an elusive championship. Hughes’ Silver Stars had misplaced within the 2008 WNBA Finals to the Detroit Shock in his deepest playoff lag sooner than coming to Seattle. Within the wake of the Storm’s 2018 championship, the third in franchise historical past, no person appeared more appreciative than Hughes.
“Could moreover I’ve liked the profession I had without it? Yes. But would it no longer had been something empty or rather bit hollow? Yes,” he acknowledged. “That gave me a moment that no longer all people gets to journey. That smile and that embody of my wife is on my computer factual now. That will most definitely be a moment that, first of all, I wasn’t clear I’d have that after my profession stopped. That is something that will establish with me the remainder of my existence.”
After inheriting Quinn as a player on the 2018 title team, her 12th and final season taking part in within the WNBA, Hughes has guided her transition to the instructing workers and helped put collectively her to grab over the team. Quinn turns into the third broken-down WNBA player at narrate serving as a head coach within the league. Both of the others — the Dallas Wings‘ Vickie Johnson and the Phoenix Mercury‘s Sandy Brondello — also labored for Hughes as assistant coaches.
Starting with her time as a player and continuing as an assistant coach within the WNBA and as head coach at her alma mater, Bishop 1st viscount montgomery of alamein Excessive College in Torrance, California, Quinn’s ability to visualise and hiss the technical formulation of executing on offense has stood out to Hughes. He linked a recent moment on the sidelines throughout a comeback steal as share of how he knew Quinn used to be ready for this likelihood.
“We’re down four at Dallas,” Hughes acknowledged. “I am announcing, ‘We need something from our ’21 series ensuing from we might maybe perchance well presumably like to play stout-court.’ She takes it and can assign apart it into verbal change to the gamers truthfully greater to me. Those are the stuff you register — especially having had so many broken-down gamers doing that. You might maybe maybe well perchance real form of judge about when the moment is acceptable.”
Quinn can have an experienced assistant next to her in Kloppenburg, who has coached with reference to two decades within the WNBA and served as head coach throughout the 2020 season with Hughes working remotely. Kloppenburg has performed a number one feature in overseeing the Storm’s defense throughout his time working with Hughes, while Quinn centered more on offense.
“I judge they’ll kind a mountainous pair and wonderful important had location these lanes up from the commence of the twelve months,” Hughes acknowledged. “These were all things that were indispensable in my head — to present Klop the presence to in reality skedaddle to an blueprint that he loves and is very real at and to diagram the identical thing with Noey, and then me form of relish in spherical that as very most sensible I could maybe perchance well perchance. What it’s finished is location up a thing that they’ll settle factual on transferring into these regards. I am clear they’ll develop, however the reality is, they were doing so important, it’s no longer going to be critically a couple of for them.”
ESPN workers author Alex Scarborough contributed to this file.