Atlanta WNBA Franchise Names
Fred Williams Assistant Coach
ATLANTA, January 11, 2008 – Atlanta’s new WNBA franchise has named Fred Williams as an assistant coach, General Manager and Head Coach Marynell Meadors announced today. Williams comes to Atlanta from the San Diego Siege, a National Women’s Basketball League team (NWBL), to join the Atlanta coaching staff for the team’s Inaugural 2008 Season.
“Fred has won championships and achieved success at every level," said Meadors. "He brings a wealth of basketball experience to our club and we are excited to have him as part of our coaching staff."
Prior to coaching with the now-defunct NWBL, Williams was the head coach of the Utah Starzz (now the San Antonio Silver Stars). He led the Starzz from a 13-15 season in 1999 to playoff appearances in 2000 and 2001 with 18-14 and 19-13 seasons, respectively. He was also an assistant coach with the Charlotte Sting from 2003 until 2004.
“Atlanta is one of my favorite cities and I am honored to join this new WNBA franchise," said Williams. "I look forward to being a part of the community and helping Coach Meadors build an exciting team that Atlanta will be proud to get behind and support."
In addition to his WNBA experience, Williams spent 10 years coaching at the University of Southern California (USC). While at USC, he made two NCAA tournament appearances and worked with future WNBA players Lisa Leslie, Tina Thompson and Adrian Williams. He has also served as an advance scout for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and the Utah Jazz.
The Atlanta WNBA team will begin play in 2008 at Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta. The team will tip-off in its first regular season home game on Friday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m. against defending Eastern Conference Champions the Detroit Shock. For information and to purchase season tickets for Atlanta’s 2008 season, fans can call (404) 604-2626 or visit www.wnba.com/atlanta. E-mail inquiries should be sent to email@example.com.
About the WNBA
The WNBA will feature 14 teams in 2008, with the Eastern and Western Conferences comprised of seven teams each. Atlanta will join the Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Detroit Shock, Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Washington Mystics in the Eastern Conference, while the Houston Comets, Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury, Sacramento Monarchs, San Antonio Silver Stars and Seattle Storm will continue to comprise the Western Conference.
The WNBA enjoyed one of its most successful seasons ever in 2007 with increased regular season attendance, a new postseason attendance record and Finals viewership on ESPN2 that was up 12 percent vs. 2006. Spectacular performances from the world’s best women’s basketball players highlighted the WNBA’s 11th season. The Storm’s Lauren Jackson tied a league record for points in a game (47) and also became the youngest player ever to reach 4,000 career points en route to earning league MVP honors, while the Mercury’s Diana Taurasi scored 30-or-more points per game a league-record 10 times. Led by 2007 All-Stars Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter and Penny Taylor, the Mercury capped the most exciting WNBA season ever by defeating the defending champion Detroit Shock in five games in the WNBA Finals.