Dan Hughes, head coach of the Seattle Storm, announced his retirement on Sunday after a WNBA coaching career that spanned 22 years and four different teams.
“After over 40 years of coaching basketball, I want to finish my career with the focus and determination with which I started,” said Hughes in a statement released by the team. “The Seattle Storm is in amazing shape, after two championships and a terrific playoff run in 2019, I would like to announce my retirement from the WNBA. 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 and I value the relationships we have formed in Seattle over the past four years and want to thank everyone for their ongoing support.”
Hughes, 55, began his coaching career in 1999 with the Charlotte Sting, one of the WNBA's eight founding teams. After spending four seasons coaching the Cleveland Rockers, he embarked on an 11-year career with the San Antonio Stars. He was hired by the Storm before the 2018 season, and led them to his very first WNBA championship and the team's first in nearly a decade.
Over his 18 years as a WNBA coach, his teams made it to the playoffs 11 times. He made it to the Finals in 2008, losing in a sweep to the Detroit Shock, before winning it all with the Storm in 2018. The Storm also won the championship at the end of the 2020 bubble season, but Hughes was not able to coach the team that season due to his elevated risk for COVID-19.
Noelle Quinn named new head coach
Hughes is leaving the Storm in a strong position for his replacement, currently sitting in first place in the Western Conference with a 5-1 record. As far as his replacement, the team announced that associate head coach Noelle Quinn, a former Storm player, is being elevated to the head coaching position.
“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."
Quinn last played in 2018, the Storm's championship season. She joined the coaching staff the following season and has been "instrumental in running offensive schemes."