2019 WNBA Coach of the Year: Chicago Sky head coach James Wade wins honor in first season
In his first season in charge, Wade led the Sky to the playoffs for the first time since 2016
Just 10 months ago, James Wade took over as head coach of the Chicago Sky. Now, he's the 2019 WNBA Coach of the Year.
The league announced the voting results early on Wednesday morning, which showed Wade won by a wide margin, earning 27 out of 43 first-place votes. Washington Mystics coach MIke Thibault came in second with 12 first-place votes.
Wade broke into the WNBA coaching ranks back in 2012 when he joined the then-San Antonio Stars staff as an assistant. He spent the past two seasons working with Cheryl Reeve and the Minnesota Lynx before getting his first head-coaching opportunity with the Sky.
Despite low expectations heading into the season, Wade helped lead a huge turnaround in Chicago. After going just 13-21 last season, the Sky finished in fifth place at 20-14 thanks to an electric offense and fast-paced style. This is their first playoff appearance since 2016, and the only time they've ever made the postseason without Elena Delle Donne on the roster. In addition, this was just the third time in franchise history they recorded 20 victories in a season.
Wade is also the first Sky coach to ever win the award. His team will begin their playoff journey on Wednesday night with their single-elimination first-round matchup against the Phoenix Mercury.
The WNBA postseason continues on Sunday with two Game 3s in the semifinal round
The postseason action continues on Sunday with Game 3 of each semifinal series
Delle Donne led the Mystics to the best record in the WNBA, and became the first member of...
Mitchell also won the award in 2010 with the New York Liberty
Reeve, who is also the Lynx's head coach, has won EOY for the first time in her career
Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu is expected to be the top pick next spring