NEW YORK, Sept. 17, 2020 – Minnesota Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve has been named the 2020 WNBA Coach of the Year, the WNBA announced today. She becomes the third coach in league history to win the award three times, joining Van Chancellor and Mike Thibault.
Reeve received 25 votes from a national panel of 47 sportswriters and broadcasters. Bill Laimbeer of the Las Vegas Aces finished second with 17 votes, Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Sparks and Mike Thibault of the Washington Mystics tied for third with two votes each and Sandy Brondello of the Phoenix Mercury rounded out the voting with one vote.
Reeve, in her 11th season as a WNBA head coach, guided the Lynx to a 14-8 record, despite being without 2017 WNBA MVP Sylvia Fowles for all but seven games due to injury and having 2019 WNBA All-Star Odyssey Sims join the team nine games into the season after she returned from maternity leave. Several other key players were also sidelined at different times.
Reeve, the 2019 WNBA Executive of the Year, built this year’s team around 2020 WNBA Rookie of the Year Crystal Dangerfield and last year’s Rookie of the Year winner Napheesa Collier. Dangerfield led the team in scoring (16.2 ppg) and Collier averaged 16.1 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds.
Under Reeve, the Lynx showed great balance, ranking in the top six in WNBA in points, field goal percentage, three-point field goal percentage, rebounding, assists and steals.
Reeve has led the Lynx to a record-tying four WNBA championships, most recently in 2017. She has a 245-117 regular-season record and a 40-17 playoff record in 11 seasons. In addition to her four championships, Reeve has the highest winning percentage in both the regular season (.677) and the postseason (.702) in league history. She previously won WNBA Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2016.
Reeve 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.
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 2020 WNBA Coach of the Year Award as well as a list of past recipients.
2020 WNBA COACH OF THE YEAR RESULTS
|Cheryl Reeve||Minnesota Lynx||25|
|Bill Laimbeer||Las Vegas Aces||17|
|Derek Fisher||Los Angeles Sparks||2|
|Mike Thibault||Washington Mystics||2|
|Sandy Brondello||Phoenix Mercury||1|
WNBA COACH OF THE YEAR WINNERS
2020: Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx)
2019: James Wade (Chicago Sky)
2018: Nicki Collen (Atlanta Dream)
2017: Curt Miller (Connecticut Sun)
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)
About the WNBA
The WNBA is a bold, progressive basketball league that stands for the power of women. Featuring 12 teams, the W is a unique sports property that combines competition and entertainment with a commitment to diversity and inclusion and social responsibility. Through its world-class athletes, the in-game fan experience, TV and digital broadcasts, digital and social content and community outreach programs, the league celebrates and elevates the game of basketball and the culture around it.
In 2020, the WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association signed a groundbreaking eight-year CBA that charts a new course for women’s basketball – and women’s sports overall – with a focus on increased player compensation, improvements to the player experience, expanded career development opportunities and resources specifically tailored to the female professional athlete. Key elements of the agreement are supported through the league’s new partnership platform, WNBA Changemakers. Inaugural WNBA Changemakers include AT&T, Deloitte and Nike.