Mercury Issue Statement Regarding Westhead
The 2007 WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury today released the following statement from general manager Ann Meyers Drysdale:
"We are unendingly grateful for the commitment and leadership Paul provided from the day he joined the Mercury organization and for the role he played in bringing our franchise and city their first professional basketball championship. We wish him the best in his new venture."
"This is a great time for the Phoenix Mercury organization. We have the best core of players in the league and the highest quality people on the floor and in the front office. The search for a head coach who exemplifies our values of teamwork and community involvement and who can help us defend our title begins immediately."
The 68-year-old Westhead was hired as head coach of the Mercury on October 11, 2005, and compiled a 41-27 (.603) record in two seasons in Phoenix, finishing with the highest winning percentage in franchise history and the second-most victories (Cheryl Miller). In 2007, he led his team to a franchise-record 23 victories and for the second consecutive year used his signature up-tempo style to set a WNBA record for scoring average.
With a 7-2 postseason record, Westhead led the club to its first WNBA Championship, a 3-2 series win over the Detroit Shock clinched on Sunday, Sept. 16 in Detroit. It was the first title won on the road in the league’s 11-year history.