“First and foremost,
I want to thank Leslie Alexander and Carroll Dawson for the wonderful opportunity
to be a part of a terrific organization,” said Chancellor. “I won four
championships with this organization and I walk away with memories that will last
me a lifetime. I made this decision because I felt that this was the right time
to take a step back and spend some time with those that matter most to me—my
wife, Betty, and my entire family. I also would like to thank the fans of the
team who have been so supportive of me throughout the years. We shared some special
moments together that I will always cherish.”
Since being named Head Coach and General Manager of the WNBA’s Houston franchise on April 29, 1997, Chancellor raised the standard of excellence within the arena of women’s basketball. In 10 seasons with the Comets, Chancellor posted more wins than any coach in WNBA history with a 211-111 (.655) regular season mark and a 20-14 (.588) record in the playoffs. Chancellor’s Comets seized the first four WNBA Championships and were the only team in the league to qualify for the playoffs in each of the first seven seasons of the WNBA.
“I want to thank Van for all he’s done for the Comets organization during his 10 seasons in Houston,” said Houston Rockets and Comets Owner Leslie Alexander. “Van joined the Comets in 1997 as one of the nation’s most distinguished college coaches and he leaves our organization today as the most respected and successful coach in WNBA history. I have fond memories of winning the first four WNBA Championships and Van was a crucial part of that success. I support Van in this decision and wish him and his family all the best in the years to come.”
Chancellor, who was the only head coach in the WNBA to have been with his original team since the league’s inception in 1997, has received many accolades as head coach. He earned WNBA Coach of the Year honors three consecutive seasons (1997, 1998, 1999) and was named head coach of the Western Conference All-Star Team three straight years (1999, 2000, 2001). In 2006, Chancellor was named coach of the WNBA’s All-Decade Team. In addition to his coaching experience in the WNBA, Chancellor owns a 38-0 record as a USA Basketball head coach. Chancellor’s success with USA Basketball has twice earned him the honor of USA Basketball National Coach of the Year (2002, 2004). He also led the USA to gold medals at the 14th FIBA World Championship for Women and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.