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Connecticut Sun's Stephanie White named 2023 WNBA Coach of the Year

Connecticut Sun's Stephanie White named 2023 WNBA Coach of the Year

Connecticut Sun head coach Stephanie White has been named the 2023 WNBA Coach of the Year, the WNBA announced today. 

White becomes the fourth former WNBA player to win the award, joining Becky Hammon (2022), Sandy Brondello (2014) and Suzie McConnell-Serio (2004). This marks the fifth Coach of the Year honor in Sun history, and White is the third different Connecticut coach to earn the award (Mike Thibault, 2006 and 2008; Curt Miller, 2017 and 2021).

White received 36 votes from a national panel of 60 sportswriters and broadcasters. Latricia Trammell of the Dallas Wings finished in second place with 11 votes, and Brondello of the New York Liberty was third with six votes.  Hammon of the Las Vegas Aces received three votes; Cheryl Reeve of the Minnesota Lynx and Tanisha Wright of the Atlanta Dream each received two votes.

In her third season as a WNBA head coach and her first with the Sun, White guided Connecticut to a 27-13 record and set the franchise record for victories in a season. The No. 3-seeded Sun will continue its quest for the franchise’s first WNBA championship when it hosts the No. 6-seeded Lynx today in Game 2 of a first-round playoff series (1 p.m. ET, ESPN). Connecticut leads the series 1-0.

White was named the WNBA Coach of the Month for May after leading the team to a 4-1 record, marking the best start by a Sun head coach in their debut season with the franchise. The Indiana native earned a spot as a head coach in the 2023 AT&T WNBA All-Star Game after guiding the Sun to the second-best record (12-4) in the league through June. At the All-Star Game in Las Vegas, White led Team Stewart to a 143-127 victory over Team Wilson. 

Beginning the season with a talented veteran core, White replaced the production of former Kia WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones, who had departed via free agency, and subsequently guided the Sun through the loss of 2022 Kia WNBA Sixth Player of the Year and two-time All-Star Brionna Jones, who sustained a season-ending Achilles injury on June 20.

Under White’s guidance, forward Alyssa Thomas and forward-guard DeWanna Bonner were selected as 2023 WNBA All-Stars during their memorable seasons. Thomas posted a WNBA single-season record six triple-doubles and became the first player in league history to log triple-doubles in consecutive games, doing so twice. She also led the league in rebounding (9.9 rpg), ranked second in assists (7.9 apg) and equaled her career high in scoring (15.5 ppg). Bonner became the first player in Sun history to record consecutive games of 30 or more points and scored a career-high 41 points in a 94-77 win over the Aces on June 8. She averaged 17.4 points for the season, the third-highest figure of her career.

As a team, the Sun ranked second in the WNBA in defensive rating (98.8) and fourth in offensive rating (103.2). Connecticut allowed a league-low 79.0 points per game.

The 2023 season marks White’s 16th in the WNBA. She began her WNBA career with five seasons (1999-2003) as a player, first with the Charlotte Sting, then the Indiana Fever. As a coach, she spent four seasons as an assistant with both the Chicago Sky (2007-10) and the Fever (2011-14), helping Indiana win the 2012 WNBA championship. She took over as Fever head coach in 2015, leading Indiana to the WNBA Finals in her first season and another playoff appearance the following year.

Below are the voting results for the 2023 WNBA Coach of the Year Award:

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