Sparks Name Henry Bibby Head Coach

EL SEGUNDO, CA, April 7 -- The Los Angeles Sparks have hired Henry Bibby to fill the head coaching position for the 2005 season, it was announced Thursday.

“After an extensive search we are glad to announce that we have selected Henry Bibby as the new Sparks Head Coach” Sparks General Manager Penny Toler notes. “He is a proven winner on all levels and we are confident that he will lead us to our next championship. We are thrilled to have him join our team and welcome him to the Sparks family.”

As a starting point guard in college, Bibby led the UCLA Bruins to three NCAA championships and was eventually drafted in 1972 to the New York Knicks. After his two and a half year stay in New York, Bibby continued his NBA career with the New Orleans Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, and San Diego Clippers. He reached the NBA finals three times, winning one championship with the Knicks his rookie year.

Soon after leaving the NBA, Bibby began his coaching career with the CBA where he spent eight non-consecutive years and won two championships (1982, 1989). In 1996, he began an impressive nine seasons with the USC Trojans where he boasts three NCAA tournament appearances (1997, 2001, 2002). Bibby was awarded Coach of the Year in the USBL (1986) and in the CBA (1982); In addition he was awarded Co-Coach of the Year with the NABC (2002). Bibby is recognized as being the only player to win a championship title with the NCAA, CBA and NBA (UCLA Bruins, Lancaster Lightning and New York Knicks, respectively).

Coach Bibby explains, “I’m excited to be the coach and I’m happy to be in a position where I am wanted and where basketball comes first. I’m just happy to be with an organization like the Sparks. I don’t think there is a better organization and I’m excited about it.”

The head coach position with the Sparks became vacant during the 2004 season when Head Coach Michael Cooper left to pursue an assistant position with the NBA’s Denver Nuggets. Cooper headed the coaching staff for five years and led the team to two WNBA World Champion titles. The Sparks finished their winning season in 2004 with a 25-9 record.

The Sparks will open the 2005 season on the road, May 21st against the Seattle Storm. The first home game at STAPLES Center is against the San Antonio Silver Stars on May 31st.