Taylor to Lead Mystics Basketball Operations

The Washington Mystics took the first step in their rebuilding process on Thursday by naming Angela Taylor as their vice president and general manager.

Taylor knows women’s basketball and the WNBA. She played on two national championship teams at Stanford and has worked with the WNBA since it began 11 years ago. Taylor worked with the league for nine years before leaving in 2006 to go with the Minnesota Lynx. She’s been their vice president of business development the last two years.

“Today is a dream come true,” Taylor said in a conference call Thursday. “This is a very exciting day for me, personally, and for my family. I think there’s great potential for what we can do in the D.C. market.”

Taylor replaces Linda Hargrove, whom the team let go last month after a disappointing 10-24 season this summer.

“We are thrilled to have [Taylor] as a member of the Mystics family,” said Mystics chief operating officer Greg Bibb. “I believe Angela is the right person to lead us to our goals.”

Bibb said team officials first had to decide if they wanted someone to handle both the coaching and general manager jobs. They thought the two jobs would be better handled by two people and began looking for the right person to handle the front-office position.

Taylor fit what the Mystics were looking for, basically someone who understood the game, how to evaluate talent and the intricacies of the WNBA.

Bibb said the Mystics hope to name a head coach by mid-November.

Bibb and Taylor both emphasized the Mystics want to develop a team that will be consistently competitively—in other words, they’re not looking for a quick fix and want to be a team with talent and balance.

Both also agreed that the Mystics want to be patient and develop young players who can grow with the team, much like the Washington Capitals have done over the past few years. But that takes time and the ability to find the right players.

“My philosophy is you have to be solid in every facet of the game,” Taylor said. “You have to control the boards, and you have to defend.”

Taylor said they’ve been evaluating talent and will continue to keep looking at last year’s roster to see who will fit where in 2009. The big question is going to be how to get the right people into the right spots.

That’s a challenge, and it’s one that Taylor looks forward to. She grew up loving to watch strong teams like the Bulls, Spurs and Jazz and hoping one day to get a chance to help put together a franchise like that.

Now, Taylor’s earned that chance, and she wants to find everyone necessary to turn things around at the Verizon Center. She and Bibb both said this process will take time as they want the Mystics to be solid every season.

“I think you win with people,” Taylor said. “We’re getting ready to go. We want to bring a WNBA championship or multiple championships to the DC area.”