The Chicago Sky announced today the hiring of James Wade as general manager and head coach.
“We are thrilled to have James join our franchise,” said Sky owner Michael Alter. “James is a widely-respected and dynamic leader. He has as special way of connecting with players and a demonstrated track record of helping push them to achieve their highest levels of success, which is why we are confident in the Sky’s future under his leadership.”
Wade, 43, comes to Chicago after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Lynx (2017-18) under head coach Cheryl Reeve, helping guide the team to a 2017 WNBA Championship title.
A native of Memphis, Tenn., Wade played collegiately at Middle Tennessee State, Chattanooga State, and Kennesaw State University, where he graduated in 1998. After college he spent nearly 13 years playing professionally across Europe (2001-13), including in the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Spain, the Czech Republic and Belgium.
Wade’s coaching career began in 2012 when he was tapped to join Dan Hughes’ coaching staff at the San Antonio Stars. By 2013, Wade was promoted to full-time assistant coach, a position he held for four seasons (2013-16). During his tenure in San Antonio, Wade coordinated the team’s defense and led individual player development, game planning, video breakdown, and team development.
A dual citizen of France and the United States, Wade spent the 2013 WNBA offseason in Russia as an advance scout for UMMC Ekaterinburg, which won the FIBA EuroLeague Women championship that same year. Wade also served as an assistant coach for French team Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomération (BLMA) for three seasons (2013-16), which went on to claim the national championship for the first time in club history.
“When we set out to find a new general manager and head coach for the Sky, it was crucial to find someone who had the ability to develop young talent and understood what it takes to build a winning culture,” said Sky owner John Rogers. “James has championship-level experience and a unique, natural ability to communicate and bring people together, which will undoubtedly translate into success both on and off the court.”
Wade joined the Lynx prior to the 2017 WNBA season to lead the team’s scouting efforts, talent evaluation, and player development.
“I am very excited and deeply appreciative of the opportunity that I have to help guide this organization to the next step,” Wade said. “I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that we succeed and have something that the fans and the people of Chicago are very proud of.”
Wade is married to former San Antonio Stars guard Edwige Lawson-Wade. They have one son, James III.