Mercury Signs Head Coach Corey Gaines to Contract Extension
The Phoenix Mercury signed Head Coach Corey Gaines to a contract extension, the club announced today. Per team policy, specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“Corey has had an undeniable impact on the franchise and developed a proven model for success here,” said Mercury President and General Manager Ann Meyers Drysdale. “His ability to connect with and lead our players has resulted in two championships and we look forward to continuing that trend this season.”
Originally named the club’s seventh all-time head coach on Nov. 7, 2007, Gaines has compiled a 54-48 (.529) record in three seasons and boasts the third-highest win percentage in franchise history (Cheryl Miller, 1997-00; Paul Westhead, 2006-07). Last season Gaines became just the second coach in franchise history to win 50 games (Miller) and led the Mercury to its third Western Conference Finals appearance in the last four years. He has compiled more postseason victories than any coach in franchise history (9-6, .600), including a trip to the 2009 WNBA Finals in just his second season at the helm and the club’s second championship in three seasons.
At the beginning of the 2010-11 NBA season, Gaines was named a player development coach for the Phoenix Suns. The focus of his current work is training young players and additional responsibilities as assigned by the coaching and basketball operations staffs.
A 21-year veteran of fastbreak basketball on the collegiate, professional and international levels, Gaines first joined the Mercury as the top assistant under Westhead in 2006 and was in charge of an offense that set WNBA records for scoring average in both 2006 (87.1) and 2007 (89.0). With Gaines on the sidelines, the Mercury has led the league in scoring in five consecutive seasons and has set WNBA scoring records in four of the last five seasons, including 2010 (93.9).
As a player, Gaines spent five seasons with five different NBA teams, earning a trip to the 1994 NBA Finals with the New York Knicks, before playing 12 years internationally.
The 2011 season tips off June 4 on the road against the defending WNBA Champion Seattle Storm. The club’s home opener is on June 17 against conference rival San Antonio. To purchase tickets, click here or call 602-252-WNBA.