Detroit coach receives 45 of possible 54 votes

Shock's Laimbeer Named Coach of the Year

NEW YORK, Aug. 31 -- Detroit Shock Head Coach Bill Laimbeer was named 2003 WNBA Coach of the Year today after transforming the Shock from the worst team in the league a year ago (9-23), into the best team in the league in 2003 (25-9).

Laimbeer received the award at a Shock playoff game.
Allen Einstein/WNBAE/Getty
Laimbeer, who is in his first full season as head coach of the Shock, received 45 of a possible 54 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Other coaches receiving votes were Minnesota's Suzie McConnell Serio (4), Houston's Van Chancellor (2), Sacramento's John Whisenant (2) and Los Angeles' Michael Cooper (1).

Detroit's worst-to-first turnaround was acheived only one other time in major professional sports history when the 1890 Louisville Colonels baseball team of the American Association accomplished the same feat.

Along the way, the Shock set Eastern Conference single-season records for winning percentage and wins, while becoming the first Eastern Conference team to earn home-court advantage throughout the playoffs since the Houston Comets boasted the WNBA's best record in 1997. Detroit's 16-win improvement from 2002 to 2003 also set a WNBA record.

The 54-member voting panel consisted of 12 national media representatives, as well as media representatives from each of the league's 14 markets who cover the WNBA regularly.

2003 Coach of the Year Results

45 Bill Laimbeer Detroit Shock
4 Suzie McConnell Serio Minnesota Lynx
2 Van Chancellor Houston Comets
2 John Whisenant Sacramento Monarchs
1 Michael Cooper Los Angeles Sparks

Coach of the Year Winners

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