NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2016 – Minnesota Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve, whose team finished with a league-leading 28-6 record, has been named the 2016 WNBA Coach of the Year, the WNBA announced today. This marks the second such honor for Reeve, who also won in 2011 with Minnesota.
Reeve received 17 votes from a national panel of 39 sportswriters and broadcasters. Brian Agler of the Los Angeles Sparks finished second with 12 votes, while Jenny Boucek of the Seattle Storm and Bill Laimbeer of the New York Liberty tied for third with three votes each. Curt Miller of the Connecticut Sun earned two votes, and Michael Cooper of the Atlanta Dream and Stephanie White of the Indiana Fever received one vote each.
In Reeve’s seventh season as Minnesota coach, the Lynx set a franchise record for wins (28) and winning percentage (.824). Minnesota posted the WNBA’s best regular-season record for the fourth time under Reeve, having previously done so in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Reeve also guided the Lynx to at least 22 victories and a playoff berth for the sixth consecutive season.
Reeve and the Lynx will play Game 2 of their WNBA Semifinals series against the Phoenix Mercury tonight at the Target Center (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2). Minnesota leads the series, 1-0.
Reeve owns a 168-70 regular-season record with the Lynx, the most wins in franchise history. She entered the playoffs ranked No. 1 in WNBA history for postseason winning percentage (.744, 29-10). Her three WNBA championships (2011, 2013 and 2015) are tied with Laimbeer for second place all time, one behind the Houston Comets’ Van Chancellor.
Under Reeve’s tutelage, the defending champion Lynx improved on last year’s 22-12 record behind a record-setting start. Minnesota opened the 2016 season 13-0, surpassing its own league mark for consecutive wins to start a season (10 in 2012). The Lynx’s 13th win was a 72-69 road victory over Los Angeles (then 11-0) on June 21, the first meeting in the history of the WNBA, NBA, NFL, NHL or MLB between teams with at least 10 wins and zero losses or ties.
Behind a balanced attack led by Maya Moore, who finished third in the MVP voting and fifth in scoring (19.3 ppg), Minnesota ranked No. 2 in the league in scoring (85.8 ppg), field goals made (32.2), field goal percentage (.471) and assists (20.0). On the defensive end, led by the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year presented by Samsung Sylvia Fowles, Reeve’s Lynx also ranked second in points allowed (77.0) and opponents’ field goal percentage (.417).
Reeve’s other WNBA Coach of the Year honor came in 2011, her second season guiding the Lynx, when Minnesota finished with the league’s best record (27-7). Minnesota’s 14-game improvement over the prior season (13-21) is tied for the second-largest turnaround in WNBA history.
Reeve, 49, started her WNBA coaching career as an assistant under Anne Donovan in Charlotte (2001-02, 2004-05), Dan Hughes in Cleveland (2003) and Bill Laimbeer in Detroit (2006-09). With Laimbeer, Reeve helped guide the Shock to the WNBA Finals in three consecutive seasons, winning championships in 2006 and 2008. She was hired by Minnesota as head coach on Dec. 8, 2009.
Prior to joining the WNBA, Reeve spent 12 years as a college coach, including head-coaching roles at Indiana State and George Washington. The Washington Township, N.J., native is a former Rhodes Scholar nominee and basketball star at LaSalle University.
Below are the voting results for the 2016 WNBA Coach of the Year Award as well as a list of past recipients:
2016 WNBA COACH OF THE YEAR RESULTS
17: Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx)
12: Brian Agler (Los Angeles Sparks)
3: Jenny Boucek (Seattle Storm)
3: Bill Laimbeer (New York Liberty)
2: Curt Miller (Connecticut Sun)
1: Michael Cooper (Atlanta Dream)
1: Stephanie White (Indiana Fever)
WNBA COACH OF THE YEAR WINNERS
2016: Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx)
2015: Bill Laimbeer (New York Liberty)
2014: Sandy Brondello (Phoenix Mercury)
2013: Mike Thibault (Washington Mystics)
2012: Carol Ross (Los Angeles Sparks)
2011: Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx)
2010: Brian Agler (Seattle Storm)
2009: Marynell Meadors (Atlanta Dream)
2008: Mike Thibault (Connecticut Sun)
2007: Dan Hughes (San Antonio Silver Stars)
2006: Mike Thibault (Connecticut Sun )
2005: John Whisenant (Sacramento Monarchs)
2004: Suzie McConnell-Serio (Minnesota Lynx)
2003: Bill Laimbeer (Detroit Shock)
2002: Marianne Stanley (Washington Mystics)
2001: Dan Hughes (Cleveland Rockers)
2000: Michael Cooper (Los Angeles Sparks)
1999: Van Chancellor (Houston Comets)
1998: Van Chancellor (Houston Comets)
1997: Van Chancellor (Houston Comets)