UNCASVILLE, Conn., Sept. 17, 2023 — Connecticut Sun head coach Stephanie White has been named the 2023 WNBA Coach of the Year, the league announced Sunday.
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.
She was also named the Associated Press Coach of the Year earlier in the week.
In her third season as a WNBA head coach and her first with the Sun, White guided Connecticut to a 27-13 record, setting the franchise record for victories in a season. The Sun were 12-4 to open the season and White and her staff earned the opportunity to coach at the WNBA All-Star game.
Beginning the season with a talented veteran core, White replaced the production of former WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones, who had departed via free agency to the New York Liberty, and subsequently guided the Sun through the loss of 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 have had 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, 36, 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.
2023 WNBA COACH OF THE YEAR RESULTS
|Stephanie White Connecticut Sun||36|
|Latricia Trammel Dallas Wings||11|
|Sandy Brondello New York Liberty||6|
|Becky Hammon Las Vegas Aces||3|
|Cheryl Reeve Minnesota Lynx||2|
|Tanisha Wright Atlanta Dream||2|
WNBA COACH OF THE YEAR WINNERS
2023 Stephanie White Connecticut Sun
2022 Becky Hammon Las Vegas Aces
2021 Curt Miller Connecticut Sun
2020 Cheryl Reeve Minnesota Lynx
2019 James Wade Chicago Sky
2018 Nicki Collen Atlanta Dream
2017 Curt Miller Connecticut Sun
2016 Cheryl Reeve Minnesota Lynx
2015 Bill Laimbeer New York Liberty
2014 Sandy Brondello Phoenix Mercury
2013 Mike Thibault Washington Mystics
2012 Carol Ross Los Angeles Sparks
2011 Cheryl Reeve Minnesota Lynx
2010 Brian Agler Seattle Storm
2009 Marynell Meadors Atlanta Dream
2008 Mike Thibault Connecticut Sun
2007 Dan Hughes San Antonio Silver Stars
2006 Mike Thibault Connecticut Sun
2005 John Whisenant Sacramento Monarchs
2004 Suzie McConnell-Serio Minnesota Lynx
2003 Bill Laimbeer Detroit Shock
2002 Marianne Stanley Washington Mystics
2001 Dan Hughes Cleveland Rockers
2000 Michael Cooper Los Angeles Sparks
1999 Van Chancellor Houston Comets
1998 Van Chancellor Houston Comets
1997 Van Chancellor Houston Comets