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Anne Donovan Resigns as Storm Head Coach

November 30, 2007



Donovan
SEATTLE
- After five seasons as head coach of the Seattle Storm, Anne Donovan today announced her resignation. Donovan informed Storm Chief Operating Officer Karen Bryant that she will not return for the 2008 season. Donovan has one year remaining on her three-year contract.

“After five years and a great experience with the Storm, I have decided it’s time for a change and a new direction in my career, an opportunity for me to explore new experiences.” Donovan said. “The level of support the fans in Seattle have shown for the Storm has been incredible. I will miss it, but feel I am making the right decision.”

“We regrettably accept Anne Donovan’s resignation as head coach and director of player personnel and wish her the very best,” Sonics & Storm Chairman Clay Bennett said. “She has been an integral part of the Storm’s success over the past five seasons and will forever be remembered for bringing a WNBA championship to Seattle in 2004.”

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“We weren’t expecting Anne’s decision but respect it and are prepared to move on with the search for a new head coach,” Bryant said. “I’ve enjoyed the last five years with Anne and will always treasure the Championship experience we shared. She helped bring the franchise to new heights and we will certainly miss her.”

Bryant will immediately spearhead the search for a new coach, with input from Bennett and Sonics CEO and President Danny Barth. “With only three players from 2007 under contract, her successor will have a tremendous opportunity to shape the Storm’s future,” Bryant added.

Donovan finishes her tenure with the Storm with a regular-season record of 93-77 (.547) including four playoff appearances and the WNBA crown in 2004. In 2007, she became the second winningest coach in WNBA history.

The Storm named Donovan head coach on Dec. 18, 2002, making her the second head coach in the franchise’s history. She joined the team after spending the previous two seasons as head coach of the Charlotte Sting. With Charlotte, Donovan compiled a 36-28 record and reached the postseason both years including a trip to the WNBA Finals in 2001.

In 2003, Donovan added “director of player personnel” to her Storm title. In the following season, she coached the Storm to a 20-14 regular-season record and a second-place finish in the Western Conference, positioning the Storm in the postseason for just the second time in franchise history. The Storm went on to win the WNBA title, the first major sports championship in Seattle in 25 years. The feat made Donovan the first female coach to win a WNBA Championship. The following season, Donovan became the first female coach in WNBA history to reach the 100-win mark.

A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Donovan is the head coach of the USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team for 2006-2008. The team, which includes the Storm’s Sue Bird, recently finished a coast-to-coast tour against top collegiate squads with a perfect 8-0 record. It upped its overall record on the year to 19-0, which includes a 2007 Tour of Italy (4-0). She has indicated that she will remain head coach of the team that will compete in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

The Storm is gearing up for its ninth WNBA season in Seattle, anchored by two-time MVP Lauren Jackson. Storm season tickets for the 2008 season are on sale now at 206-217-WNBA or storm.wnba.com.