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Stephanie White etches name in with WNBA coaching greats

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Indiana head coach Stephanie White has recorded one of the best rookie seasons in franchise history. She now has the chance to improve upon her history-making season in the WNBA Finals.

Chris Poss

Two of the WNBA's best head coaches, Bill Laimbeer and Cheryl Reeve, missed the playoffs entirely in their first year at the helm.

Indiana head coach Stephanie White not only made the playoffs in her rookie season, but she led her team all the way to the WNBA Finals. She etched her name in stone as the first rookie head coach to do so.

Laimbeer (New York) and Reeve (Minnesota) each won the championship in just their second season as head coach. White beat them both by one season all while having to go through them to do so.

Laimbeer was named the 2015 Coach of the Year and had led his team to three WNBA titles. In her first six years, Reeve has led her team to the championship game four times and clinched two titles.

White came in second in the Coach of the Year voting.

White will face Reeve in this year's finals and had to upset Laimbeer's top-seeded Liberty team to advance to the Finals.

White ranks with current Atlanta Dream head coach Michael Cooper as one of the only first-year coaches to make it to the playoffs in their rookie year.  Cooper led the Los Angeles Sparks to a 28-4 season in his first year, advancing to the Western Conference Finals and earning Coach of the Year honors.

Cooper's Sparks went on to win back-to-back titles in 2001 and 2002 in just his second and third seasons, and fell in the Finals the following season.

Finding herself in the likes of Cooper, Laimbeer and Reeve, clearly White has made her way into good company.

Each of these coaches has moved on to become some of the most successful and winningest coaches in WNBA history, but it all started with their early success.

It would seem White could possibly be on that very same track. But before she starts worrying about that, I'm sure she is more focused on becoming the first rookie coach to win a WNBA title.