Atlanta Franchise Names Marynell Meadors
First Head Coach and General Manager
ATLANTA, Nov. 28, 2007 — The Atlanta WNBA franchise has named Marynell Meadors as the first Head Coach and General Manager in the team's history, it was announced today. As one of the eight original head coaches in WNBA history (Charlotte Sting, 1997-1999), this is the second time that Meadors has been tapped to coach a WNBA team during its inaugural season.
"I have said from day one that my goal as a WNBA owner is to start a tradition of success in Atlanta and Marynell has repeatedly proven herself to be a winner. We feel fortunate that she has agreed to lead this team from the idea stage to the basketball court," said Ron Terwilliger, owner of Atlanta's WNBA franchise. "Now that we have Marynell on board, we can start preparing for the draft and putting together a team Atlanta can be proud of."
Meadors takes the helm of the yet-to-be-named team with a lifetime of experience working in professional and collegiate women's basketball. Atlanta will be her fourth stop in the WNBA. She entered the league in its inaugural season as the Head Coach and General Manager of the now-defunct Sting and led the team to playoff appearances in each of its first two seasons. In 1999, Meadors joined the Miami Sol for one season as director of scouting. Most recently, she was an assistant coach with the Mystics from 2005-2007.
"Coaching basketball has been my passion for nearly four decades and I'm grateful to once again have the opportunity to be a WNBA Head Coach and General Manager," said Meadors. "Starting a franchise certainly has its challenges but my experience with the Sting and the Miami Sol tells me that success is possible from the very beginning. We have a lot of work in front of us and a short period of time to get it done. With the 4th pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft, as well as the expansion draft and a good mix of free agents, we have the opportunity to assemble a very talented team. I look forward to working with Ron and our entire organization to deliver an exciting and successful inaugural season."
In addition to her WNBA experience, Meadors has made her mark in the collegiate ranks. She was the first ever coach of the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles, where she won 363 games including four Ohio Valley Conference Championships in 20 years. Following Tennessee Tech, she held the top coaching position at Florida State for 10 seasons highlighted by the Seminoles' run into the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 1991. She has more than 500 wins at the collegiate level and is the winningest coach in Charlotte Sting history. In between her stints with the Miami Sol and Washington Mystics, Meadors worked as an assistant at the University of Pittsburgh for two seasons.
The Atlanta WNBA team will begin play in 2008 at Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta. 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.