Dan Hughes announced his retirement from WNBA coaching on Sunday after a 40-year basketball coaching career, 20 of which were within the league.
At the age of 66 Hughes has decided it is time for his retirement, stating that it is time for him to focus fully on his wife and two children. This decision comes after his absence last week to attend his eldest son’s graduation.
Dan Hughes Retirement
— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) May 30, 2021
The team released an official statement from former coach Dan Hughes on Sunday via Twitter.
“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”,
Dan Hughes had an illustrious career with the Storm, serving as head coach since 2017. Hughes helped the team to two WNBA Championships, one in 2018 and another in 2020.
The 2018 title was the result of an incredible 26-8 season for the Storm. Hughes led them to their victory over the Washington Mystics to claim the championship.
The 2020 season was different for Hughes, as he coached in a more advisory role as a result of not being medically cleared to coach after having a cancerous tumor removed in 2019. The team was led by head coach Gary Kloppenburg to their 2020 WNBA title, but Hughes was still actively involved in the process; Hughes spoke with players via Zoom and helped break down game film.
Hughes will retire with his team as the reigning champions and has left them poised for another possible victory, with a current 5-1 record.
Prior to his time with the Storm, Hughes coached the former team San Antonio Silver Stars, rebranded as San Antonio Stars in 2016, for eleven seasons. In 2008, Hughes coached the Stars to the 1st in the WNBA Western Conference with a 24-10 record. Hughes also coached for Charlotte and Cleveland.
Dan Hughes will retire tied with the third most victories as a WNBA coach with 286. Hughes coached 598 games, the second most in the league.
Hughes was awarded the WNBA Coach of the Year award in 2001 and 2007.
He is not fully finished with his time in basketball, as he will still serve as the assistant coach for USA Basketball for the upcoming 2021 olympics in Tokyo.
Following Hughes’ exit, the team announced that associate coach Noelle Quinn would serve as the team’s seventh head coach. Quinn is the first Black head coach of Seattle and was present for their championship run last year after being named an assistant coach on Feb. 21, 2019.
Quinn is heavily experienced in the WNBA realm, retiring in 2018 after an 11-year career. Quinn was drafted 4th overall in 2007 to Minnesota and went on to play for Los Angeles, Washington and Phoenix before retiring as a point guard with Seattle.
In his statement, Hughes expressed his confidence in Quinn.
“I am excited to hand the reins to Noelle,”
Dan Hughes said.
“She is well positioned to do this job and I am proud to have mentored her during my time here.”
Quinn will have Kloppenburg, Ryan Webb and Perry Huang serve as her assistant coaches.
The Storm played their first game under Quinn on Tuesday, which resulted in an 88-73 victory over the Indiana Fever. The now 6-1 team will face the Dallas Wings next on June 4 at 10 p.m. .
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