In hiring Julie Plank, the Atlanta Dream have added a coach who not only brings a wealth of women's basketball experience as described in the team's release, but also a coach who was a strong candidate for 2010 WNBA Coach of the Year when she was last coaching with the Washington Mystics as described by Swish Appeal's James Bowman back then.
...the WNBA Coach of the Year (excluding playoffs) should be Julie Plank. All kinds of good arguments could be made for Plank. The Mystics won a tough Eastern Conference with Alana Beard out for the season, and she won the #1 seed with a reduced roster. Many times, she only had nine players available to suit up. Plank was second in close games with a 7-3 record. Her team allowed the fewest offensive rebounds of any team in the league.
Plank's departure from the Mystics after that season was (and perhaps still is) a major source of controversy within the Mystics' fanbase and, as you may have seen mentioned on this site every now and then, Washington won only 11 games combined in their next two seasons which unfortunately was their worst two season stretch on the basketball court.
Assistant coaching hires aren't always going to fire up a fan base, but Dream fans should be happy with this one.
For more on the Dream, check out our offseason storystream.