Press Conference Quotes

Connecticut Sun CEO Mitchell Etess:
"When we began our coaching search, there was one name that was at the top of our list the whole time. We weren’t certain if it was someone who would be available for us but it was someone we thought would be the right person and that was Anne Donovan. We were very excited about being able to bring that to fruition."

Connecticut Sun Vice President and General Manager Chris Sienko:
“We are thrilled today. That’s the easiest way to put it. Change is always difficult, be we are moving forward. Our objective is very clear. It’s to win championships. We thought we needed a new voice and this is the direction we headed. Mitchell had asked for a short list of folks, and as he had said, there was one name that was at the top.”

“As we were joking around at lunch, we only do this once a decade so we took our time in trying to make sure we had the right candidates. We had a lot of people come up to the plate. We took our time vetting those candidates, meeting with them, talking with them. And in very short order, we were able to put together with Anne. And she is here and we’re extremely thrilled.”

"All of you already know her qualifications. She has won at every level as a player and a coach and we think it says a lot about our program that she would want to come back here and help lead this team to a championship.”

Connecticut Sun coach Anne Donovan
Opening Statement
“As you can imagine, when a coach talks about coaching basketball in Connecticut, you get pretty fired up. It wasn’t long after I met with Mitchell and Chris that I really grew not just to believe in basketball in Connecticut, but (to understand) the reason why the Connecticut Sun franchise has been so successful and such a premier franchise in the WNBA. Teams don’t win at the professional level, and are not successful at the professional level without great leadership. That clearly is the case here in Connecticut.”

“Different players and coaches throughout the league, we’ve always had tremendous respect for what the Connecticut Sun has accomplished. The winning tradition that is here makes it the premier franchise in the WNBA. So becoming a part of this franchise is a tremendous honor for me. I am very excited about this. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue the successes that have gone before me and I really look forward to taking the next step, winning titles and championships."

Is there pressure to win right away?
“I think, for me, pressure is something I enjoy. It’s something that, if you are coaching, you better enjoy it and step up to the plate or else you’re not in the right situation. There is always pressure internally from me, no matter what position I am in. At the same time, there is tremendous confidence with my background and my experience and having won a WNBA championship, having some idea of what it takes. I am respectful that, you can line all the ducks up and one duck can fall aside, and things can go awry. It’s my job to make sure we keep the ducks lined up and march down that championship road, so it excites me. The challenge and the pressure excites me."

What does this team need to win a championship?
“Obviously this team is not far off. Just look at the track record and the successes they’ve had. I haven’t had much of an opportunity to get to know the girls yet. I can probably answer that question a little better as we get further along. What I can tell you is it’s not far off.”

When you took the job at Seton Hall, did you envision that college was going to be the rest of your coaching career or did you find yourself missing the pro game?
“Great question. When I took the job at Seton Hall, I really thought that was going to be my last stop. But when you talk about the Connecticut Sun and you talk about basketball here at the Mohegan Sun – this roster, this leadership – it’s just an opportunity that’s too exciting to pass up. So at that point in time, I thought Seton Hall was it. But I have to tell you, I am very excited that the path has changed, and there are new challenges ahead, and I look forward to this opportunity.”

When you were with the New York Liberty and you took the Seton Hall job, the situation was in reverse. How difficult is it going to be for you coaching Seton Hall going forward?
“It is interesting and ironic, I think, that it is in reverse. It’s always hard to leave a team. I felt the same way leaving the Liberty, when I left that team to take on Seton Hall. But the beauty of basketball is relationships. It’s the core of this game. And I carry the relationships with the Liberty players to this day. And I am sure when I leave Seton Hall at the end of the season, I will carry those relationships on as well. I met with the team this morning and thanks to you guys (media) doing your diligent homework, and through social media, they had the information before I could give it to them so it was quite emotional this morning to be honest. We have a very emotional team meeting. But this is life and we will work through it together. Part of the timing for this that Connecticut agreed upon and Seton Hall did as well was to make sure they had the information and could process it. And then when we take on Pitt Saturday for our first Big East game on Saturday, they could re-focus and re-channel and hopefully accomplish some of our goals.”