The Indiana Fever have hired Christie Sides as the ninth head coach in franchise history. Sides, who has over 20 years of experience as a coach at both the professional and collegiate level, previously worked for the organization as an assistant coach under Pokey Chatman from 2018-19.
"We are thrilled to have someone with Christie's experience and record of success leading our young players to the next level," team president Dr. Allison Barber said in a press release. "Coach Sides embodies our Fever tenets and focus. She is committed to excellence, competitive on the court and a contributor to our community."
"Christie has all the traits I value. She is an excellent teacher with a high basketball IQ. She is a relationship person and a connector. Christie will be demanding, pay attention to detail, and will also make sure we defend and play hard. I love her energy and believe she is a perfect fit for our young, talented team," Fever interim general manager Lin Dunn said.
Sides was most recently serving dual roles as the associate head coach for the University of Louisiana-Monroe during the collegiate season and as an assistant coach for the Atlanta Dream during the WNBA season. Previous stops include Northwestern University, the Chicago Sky, Spartak Moscow and the Slovakian Women's National Team.
Now, Sides will be tasked with turning around a Fever franchise that has been stuck spinning its wheels for going on a decade. The Fever have not made the playoffs since 2016, which is the longest active playoff drought in the league and the longest in franchise history.
Over the past six seasons the team is 45-147, has nearly as many 20-point losses (34) as wins and has finished in last place three times. Last season they won just five games, which was a franchise low, and ended on an 18-game losing streak, which was the second-longest in WNBA history.
With an extremely young roster that featured seven rookies last season, this won't be a quick fix for Sides and the Fever. They do have some talented young players to build around, though, most notably Kelsey Mitchell and last year's No. 2 overall pick, NaLyssa Smith. If they can get some luck in the upcoming draft lottery ---- they could be on their way to building a promising young core.