Sept. 25, 2004 The WNBA today announced that Lynx head coach Suzie McConnell Serio has been named the 2004 WNBA Coach of Year. In her second season as head coach of the Lynx, McConnell Serio is Minnesota's first Coach of the Year award winner.

"I am truly honored to receive this award and to be recognized for my team's accomplishments," said McConnell Serio. "It is because of this special group of players and our coaching staff that I have won this award."

McConnell Serio received 15 of a possible 48 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters to win the 2004 Coach of the Year award. She won the award by the closest margin in the history of the award, as she received one more vote than runner-up Mike Thibault (14), head coach of the Connecticut Sun.

In the 2004 regular season, McConnell Serio guided the Lynx to their second consecutive WNBA Playoffs appearance and a franchise-best No. 3 seed in the Western Conference with an 18-16 record. The Lynx tied franchise records for wins (18), home victories (11) and road wins (7), all previously set in her first season (2003). In addition, Minnesota set a franchise record with a six-game winning streak (July 9-28), and enjoyed its most successful month in team history with an 8-3 record in July. In two seasons with the Lynx, McConnell Serio has posted a 36-32 record (.530 winning percentage) and led the team to its only two playoff appearances in the club's six-year history.

Minnesota was selected by many preseason prognosticators to finish last in the Western Conference after entering the 2004 campaign with four rookies and only five returning players from the previous season. Minnesota lost the services of four-time WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith for the final 11 games of the 2004 regular season due to a knee injury. At the time of her injury, Smith ranked third in the WNBA in scoring with 18.8 ppg. However, the Lynx won five games - including wins over Seattle and Los Angeles, the top two finishers in the WNBA - after Smith's injury.

"Suzie has made a tremendous impact on our organization in her two years and this is a well-deserved honor," said Lynx chief operating officer Roger Griffith. "We are extremely proud to have her as our coach and represent our organization."

Before joining the Lynx, McConnell Serio served as head coach of Oakland Catholic High School (Pittsburgh, Pa.) for 13 years. She played three seasons in the WNBA with the Cleveland Rockers (1998-2000). McConnell Serio earned WNBA Newcomer of the Year and All-WNBA First Team honors in 1998 and was a two-time winner of the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award (1998 and 2000). She also won two Olympic medals, gold in 1988 and bronze in 1992.

2004 Coach of the Year Results
Coach, Team
Suzie McConnell Serio, Minnesota Lynx
Mike Thibault, Connecticut Sun
Carrie Graf, Phoenix Mercury
Anne Donovan, Seattle Storm
Karleen Thompson, Los Angeles Sparks
Patty Coyle, New York Liberty
Michael Adams, Washington Mystics
Van Chancellor, Houston Comets

Lynx Links
McConnell Serio photo gallery
Feature story: A Player's Coach