Michael Cooper named head coach of the Atlanta Dream

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Cooper, a former WNBA Coach of the Year and the head coach of the 2001 and 2002 WNBA champion Los Angeles Sparks was named head coach of the Atlanta Dream today.

Undoubtedly, if you were to ask any Atlanta Dream fan who the new head coach of the Dream would be, you would have gotten a lot of good guesses.  More than likely, one would have chosen someone from the Dream's bench, or a recently released head coach.  This time, however, the Dream went deep and got a new head coach not only with experience, but with an incredible resume.

Michael Cooper was named as head coach of the Atlanta Dream today at 3 pm.  Cooper was previously head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks from 2000-2004 and 2007-2009.  During that time, he won two championships with the Sparks in 2001 and 2002 and was named WNBA Coach of the Year in 2000.  His career was 167-85 in the WNBA over eight seasons with a 25-13 playoff record, having only one losing season.


From the press release:

Said team owners Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler: “As we look to take the Atlanta Dream to the next level, Michael Cooper brings a caliber of coaching and leadership that is truly unique. His passion for the game, for the WNBA and his focus on player development will be invaluable. We are excited to build on the success of our franchise for our team, our fans and for the city of Atlanta, and are already working toward an exciting 2014 season.”

“We are thrilled to announce Michael Cooper as our new head coach,” said Dream CEO Ashley Preisinger. “We had an outstanding pool of candidates to consider for the position, and we are excited for Michael to lead our team. He is a proven winner and leader with a track record of success at the highest levels of basketball and we believe he will be a tremendous asset to our team.”

“I’m very honored and pleased to be named the head coach of the Dream,” said Cooper. “It’s a great organization, and the leadership has it headed in the right direction. The team’s appearance in the WNBA Finals shows they are on the right track. They’ve been knocking on the door of a championship, and I know what that felt like in my early years with the Sparks, but now it’s time to kick the door in and make it happen.”

Said team owners Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler: “As we look to take the Atlanta Dream to the next level, Michael Cooper brings a caliber of coaching and leadership that is truly unique. His passion for the game, for the WNBA and his focus on player development will be invaluable. We are excited to build on the success of our franchise for our team, our fans and for the city of Atlanta, and are already working toward an exciting 2014 season.”

“We are thrilled to announce Michael Cooper as our new head coach,” said Dream CEO Ashley Preisinger. “We had an outstanding pool of candidates to consider for the position, and we are excited for Michael to lead our team. He is a proven winner and leader with a track record of success at the highest levels of basketball and we believe he will be a tremendous asset to our team.”

“I’m very honored and pleased to be named the head coach of the Dream,” said Cooper. “It’s a great organization, and the leadership has it headed in the right direction. The team’s appearance in the WNBA Finals shows they are on the right track. They’ve been knocking on the door of a championship, and I know what that felt like in my early years with the Sparks, but now it’s time to kick the door in and make it happen.”

- See more at: http://www.wnba.com/dream/news/michaelcooperheadcoach112113.html#sthash.sWSwjBgY.dpuf

Said team owners Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler: “As we look to take the Atlanta Dream to the next level, Michael Cooper brings a caliber of coaching and leadership that is truly unique. His passion for the game, for the WNBA and his focus on player development will be invaluable. We are excited to build on the success of our franchise for our team, our fans and for the city of Atlanta, and are already working toward an exciting 2014 season.”

“We are thrilled to announce Michael Cooper as our new head coach,” said Dream CEO Ashley Preisinger. “We had an outstanding pool of candidates to consider for the position, and we are excited for Michael to lead our team. He is a proven winner and leader with a track record of success at the highest levels of basketball and we believe he will be a tremendous asset to our team.”

“I’m very honored and pleased to be named the head coach of the Dream,” said Cooper. “It’s a great organization, and the leadership has it headed in the right direction. The team’s appearance in the WNBA Finals shows they are on the right track. They’ve been knocking on the door of a championship, and I know what that felt like in my early years with the Sparks, but now it’s time to kick the door in and make it happen.”

- See more at: http://www.wnba.com/dream/news/michaelcooperheadcoach112113.html#sthash.sWSwjBgY.dpuf

In addition to his career as a WNBA coach, he has a long career as a professional basketball player in the NBA (1978-91) and was a NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1997).  He was an assistant coach and an interim head coach for the Denver Nuggets, was an assistant head coach for the NBDL Albuquerque Thunderbirds (2006-2007) and was the head women's college basketball coach at Southern California from 2009-2013, resigning after four years.

He is the only person to have an NBA championship (as a player), a WNBA championship and a NBDL championship.

For more on Cooper's new team, check out our Atlanta Dream offseason storystream.

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