College - Old Dominion
Olympic Gold Medalist and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame member Anne Donovan was introduced as the second head coach in Connecticut Sun history on January 3, 2013.
Donovan joined the Sun after spending three seasons as the head women’s basketball coach at Seton Hall University.
The first female coach to win a WNBA championship, Donovan stands fourth all time with 177 wins. She has coached 351 games, which ranks third all time.
Donovan’s first season with Connecticut, which ended with a 10-24 record, was ruined by injuries. Seven players missed a total of 78 games, and the Sun had a full roster of 11 players available for an entire game just twice. Even before the season started, Connecticut suffered unexpected losses as Asjha Jones decided to take the season off to let nagging injuries heal while Danielle McCray was lost for 2013 with a left Achilles tendon tear.
Donovan began her WNBA coaching career as the interim head coach with the expansion Indiana Fever in 2000, then spent two seasons (2001 and 2002) with the Charlotte Sting. In Charlotte, Donovan compiled a 36-28 record while leading the Sting to consecutive playoff appearances. In 2001, the team began 1-10 before executing one of the great turnarounds in league history, a 17-4 run and a trip to the WNBA Finals.
In 2003, Donovan began her first of five seasons with the Seattle Storm. During her tenure in Seattle, the Storm became on the most consistent winners in the league, racking up a 93-77 overall record four playoff appearances. In 2004, the Storm captured went all the way, defeating the Connecticut Sun 2-1 in the WNBA Finals as Donovan became the first female coach to win a league championship.
Donovan departed Seattle following the 2007 season but returned to the WNBA in 2009 as an assistant coach for the New York Liberty. Halfway through that season she became the interim head coach and spent the 2010 season on the sidelines as the head coach with the Liberty. Donovan wrapped up her tenure in New York with a record of 29-22 and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2010.
As a head coach, Donovan’s teams have consistently out-paced the rest of the WNBA on the offensive end of the court. In 10 seasons, her teams have bested the league average in points per game seven times, including six consecutive seasons (2002-2007).
Just one of 10 athletes in USA Olympic history to be named to three or more U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Teams (1980, 1984 and 1988), Donovan won two gold medals (1984 and 1988). As a member of the U.S. National Team, Donovan was 52-7 and won seven gold medals and two silver medals in international competitions.
On January 12, 2006, Donovan was named head coach of the USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team. During her time on the sidelines with USA Basketball as both a head coach and an assistant, she compiled a record of 132-10, including 57-6 at the helm from 2006-08. As a coach, Donovan accumulated five gold medals, including the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, three silver medals, one bronze medal and two tournament titles with USA Basketball. Following the team’s performance in Beijing, she was named the co-recipient, along with Mike Krzyzewski, of the 2008 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award. Donovan is just the second woman to both coach and compete in an Olympic Games, joining Pat Summitt in that category.
Donovan’s coaching career began in the collegiate ranks, where she spent six seasons (1989-1995) as an assistant at Old Dominion University, her alma mater, before taking the head coaching position at East Carolina University in 1995. After the 1997-98 season, she departed East Carolina to guide the Philadelphia Rage of the American Basketball League.
As a student-athlete at Old Dominion, Donovan enjoyed a remarkable career. A three-time Kodak All-American (1981, 1982 and 1983) and two-time Academic All-American (1982 and 1983), she was the recipient of the Naismith Trophy as the national Player of the Year in 1983 and received a NCAA post-graduate scholarship that same year for her academic achievements. After helping the Monarchs win the 1980 AIAW National Championship, Donovan departed the Monarchs as the all-time leader in points (2,710) and rebounds (1,976) as well as blocks (801). Her blocks total stands as the most in a career in combined AIAW/NCAA history.
On May 15, 1995, Donovan was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and in 1999 was one of 26 members of the inaugural class of inductees to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. In addition to those honors, she is a member of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, the New Jersey Sports Hall of Fame, the CoSIDA Academic All-American Hall of Fame and the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame. In 2004, Donovan was named the Sun Belt Conference’s All-Time Women’s Basketball Player and in 2008 she received both the NCAA 25-year Award and an honorary Doctorate from Old Dominion.
A native of Ridgewood, N.J., Donovan graduated from Paramus Catholic High School.