Coach Bio

Karleen Thompson
College - USC
Karleen Thompson is in her first season as an assistant coach with the Atlanta Dream. She previously served as an assistant under Michael Cooper with the Los Angeles Sparks from 2002-04.

Thompson came to the Dream after serving as Assistant Coach and Defensive Coordinator at Clemson University for three seasons from 2010-13. Prior to that she spent 12 years in the WNBA, including serving as the head coach and general manager of the Houston Comets from two seasons from 2007-08, posting a record of 30-38. She was promoted to that position after serving as an assistant coach with the Comets the two prior seasons.

Before coaching with the Comets, Thompson spent eight years in the Los Angeles Sparks organization. She joined the Sparks in 1997 and was promoted to assistant coach in 2002. In 2004, she served as interim co-head coach following the mid-season departure of Cooper to join the staff of the Denver Nuggets of the NBA. She helped guide the Sparks to an 11-3 record over the final 14 games of the regular season, clinching the league’s best overall mark (25-9).

Thompson helped the Sparks to WNBA titles in 2001 and 2002 and served as an assistant on the Western Conference All-Star for two seasons (2002, 2003). She was also an assistant coach for the WNBA Select Team that captured second place in the FIBA Women’s World Cup 2003 which was held in Samara, Russia. Thompson also served as an assistant coach for Spartak Moscow in the Moscow region from 2006-07.

Thompson is a 1997 graduate of the University of Southern California, where she lettered in basketball for two seasons on a Trojan team that featured Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson. Thompson began her collegiate career at Contra Costa College in Northern California, where she was a Kodak All-American and later earned a spot in the Junior College Hall of Fame.

Thompson was a highly-recruited three-sport athlete at Snyder (Texas) High School in basketball, volleyball and track, earning High School All-State honors in all three sports. Thompson is the proud mother of two daughters, Ayesha and Keisha.


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