Anne Donovan Named Liberty Interim Head Coach
By ODU Athletics
Aug. 2, 2009
NEW YORK, NY-- New York Liberty president and general manager Carol Blazejowski announced on July 31st the Anne Donovan (ODU'83) will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. She replaces Pat Coyle.
"When we came off a two-point loss last year to advance into the Finals, the expectations were very high for this club," Blazejowski said. "And our record at the moment isn't at the .500 mark, so I just felt with a whole half of the season left and perhaps these moves will jumpstart us."
Donovan, who is considered one of the most accomplished women's basketball players and coaches in history, could be just the person they need to make the turnaround happen. She will make her New York head coaching debut on Saturday when the Liberty begin a season-long five-game road trip in Atlanta.
"This is a change that we all have to transition into and I believe Anne will," Blazejowski said. "Anne is on the road traveling on the long road trip, and it will be up to her to make the adjustments."
Donovan is no stranger to coaching in the WNBA. She has previously held WNBA head-coaching positions in Indiana (2000), Charlotte (2001-2002) and Seattle (2003-2007), where she guided the Storm to the 2004 championship. Last summer, she coached the U.S. Women's National team to an Olympic gold medal in Beijing.
After joining the Liberty shortly before training camp, Donovan has adjusted well to her new surroundings. "There was a learning curve for her when she came into this job in terms of learning the personnel and learning the tendencies and learning the offensive and defensive sets," said Blazejowski. "But Anne has the experience and she is a proven winner."
Blazejowski will keep Donovan as the interim head coach for the season before "re-evaluating" the situation during the offseason. She also plans on adding assistant coaches by the end of the summer.