- Former Atlanta Dream assistant to lead Sparks -

ATLANTA, January 5, 2012 – The Los Angeles Sparks have named former Atlanta Dream assistant coach Carol Ross as the team’s new head coach. Ross spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach with the Atlanta Dream.

“Carol has been an integral part of our success in Atlanta, helping the Dream to three consecutive playoff appearances and two conference championships,” said Dream Head Coach and General Manager Marynell Meadors. “She has a history of winning and will be a great fit in Los Angeles. We are excited for her new opportunity as head coach of the Sparks.”

Ross will join the Sparks for the 2012 Women’s National Basketball Association season. She brings over 25 years of coaching experience including the past three seasons as an assistant coach with the Atlanta Dream, WNBA Finalists in both 2010 and 2011. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not announced.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Carol Ross to our Sparks basketball family,” said Sparks Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler. “Carol is a proven winner with an incredible track record at both the collegiate and pro levels. She has groomed many women for great WNBA careers. We’re confident Carol is the ideal coach to lead the Sparks to our next Championship.”

Prior to her tenure in Atlanta, Ross amassed a 324-161 (.668) record in 16 seasons as an NCAA Division I head coach in the highly-competitive Southeastern Conference, guiding her teams to 12 NCAA Tournaments and two WNIT appearances. Twelve of those seasons (1990-02) were spent at Florida – where she coached current Sparks forward DeLisha Milton-Jones – before returning to her alma mater Mississippi from 2003-07.

"I am very excited about the opportunity Penny Toler and the Sparks’ organization have entrusted to me. I look forward to the responsibility of guiding these elite WNBA athletes,” Ross stated. “With the talent and experience of players such as Candace Parker, DeLisha Milton-Jones and others, the Sparks are a team with Championship aspirations.”

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Atlanta Dream coaches, players, owners and staff for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of a first-class organization," Ross added.

The Atlanta Dream tips off its fifth season in May at Philips Arena as part of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), the world’s longest-running women’s professional sports league. The Dream is the defending two-time, back-to-back Eastern Conference Champion.