Sparks Name Penny Toler Executive Vice President
The Los Angeles Sparks named Penny Toler the Executive Vice President and General Manager, the team announced today. Toler was previously named Vice President in 2009 and has been General Manager of the team since 1999.
"Penny has been a part of this team as long as there has been a WNBA," Sparks CEO Paula Madison said. "Along with building a championship caliber team, she continues to be an integral piece in enhancing our day-to-day business operations."
In her role as Executive Vice President, Toler will continue to oversee basketball operations, in addition to the communications, community relations and marketing departments, working closely with new Team President Vincent Malcolm.
"I am excited and happy to further expand my role into the key business operations of the team," Toler said. "2012 was a good season, and we have even bigger plans for next year."
Penny Toler has served as General Manager of the Los Angeles Sparks for the past 13 seasons, and since 2010 has held the dual title of Vice President. Her skill at roster-building – bringing some of the most talented female athletes in the world to Los Angeles – and keen sense of basketball operations are complimented by her years as a professional athlete. Through her experience she has assembled the rosters of two back-to-back WNBA championship teams with the Sparks in 2001 and 2002.
In her 13 seasons as General Manager, Toler has guided the team to the WNBA Playoffs 11 times (2000-06 and 2008-10, 2012), as well as three conference championships in 2001, 2002 and 2003, to go along with the pair of WNBA titles. In an effort to advance the women’s game, Toler was a strong advocate in implementing the 24 second shot clock and turning the two, 20-minutes halves into four, 10-minute quarters.
Toler has also been a member of the USA Basketball Women’s Competition Committee where she assisted in the selection of three gold medal winning teams: the 2002 World University Championship games, the 2004 Olympic team and the 2008 Olympic team.
Toler made history again in 2006 when her No. 11 Sparks jersey became the first female athlete’s jersey to be retired at the STAPLES Center in recognition both of her playing and management career.
She scored the first basket in WNBA history on June 21, 1997 vs. the New York Liberty, and finished the inaugural season as the Sparks’ second leading scorer with 13.1 ppg.