Lynx Hire Veteran WNBA Coach Nancy Darsch as Assistant Coach

Darsch led the Liberty to an appearance in the WNBA Championship game in 1997.
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Feb. 20, 2003 — The Lynx today announced the hiring of former WNBA head coach Nancy Darsch as an assistant coach. Darsch, who agreed to a multi-year contract with the team, is the first assistant named to the coaching staff of new Lynx head coach Suzie McConnell Serio. Per team policy, terms of Darsch's contract were not announced.

Darsch, who possesses nearly 25 years of coaching experience at the major college and professional levels, most recently served as the head scout for the Washington Mystics (2001 and 2002). Darsch, who has been involved with the WNBA in each of the league’s six years, spent three-plus seasons as a WNBA head coach. In the league's inaugural 1997 campaign, Darsch led the New York Liberty to a 17-11 record and an appearance in the WNBA Championship game. She compiled a 36-24 (.600) record in two seasons with New York. In 1999, Darsch became head coach of the Washington Mystics, and in her first season, the Mystics won nine more games than the previous year. In three-plus seasons as a WNBA head coach, Darsch posted a career record of 56-54 (.509).

"I am thrilled to join the Lynx organization and head coach Suzie McConnell Serio as an assistant coach," said Darsch. "I am eager to get back on the court and look forward to working with Suzie in her efforts to lead the Lynx to success."

"I'm really pleased to have Nancy as an assistant coach," said McConnell Serio. "I have a lot of confidence in her, and the experience she will provide for both the players and myself. Obviously, she is someone who has had a large amount of coaching success in the WNBA and really knows the league and its players."

Prior to coaching the Liberty, Darsch spent 12 seasons as the head women’s basketball coach at Ohio State University (1985-1997), where she coached Lynx all-star guard Katie Smith (1992-93 - 1995-96). While at OSU, Darsch compiled a record of 234-125 (.652), including four Big Ten Conference Championships and seven NCAA appearances. In 1993, Darsch led Ohio State to the NCAA Championship Game after the team won the regular-season Big Ten title (28-4). Before becoming a head coach at Ohio State, Darsch served as an assistant coach for seven seasons (1978-1985) under the University of Tennessee’s Pat Summitt. During her tenure, she helped lead the Lady Vols to five Final Four appearances.

"We're extremely excited to have Nancy join our coaching staff," said Roger Griffith, Lynx chief operating officer. "She has a wealth of basketball experience and knowledge, particularly within the WNBA. She will make a great addition to the Lynx organization."

Darsch has also won two Olympic gold medals (1984 and 1996) as an assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s Olympic basketball teams. A 1973 graduate of Springfield College in Massachusetts, Darsch began her coaching career at Longmeadow High School (Mass.), where she coached basketball, field hockey and softball. Darsch is a native of Plymouth, Mass.