New York, N.Y., April 27, 2018 — The New York Liberty today announced its coaching staff for the 2018 season. First year head coach, Katie Smith, will be assisted by Herb Williams in his third year, Barbara Farris as she makes her return to the Liberty sideline, and Teresa Weatherspoon as she continues her duties in player development.
Smith stated. “I’m incredibly fortunate to have a staff comprised of great people. Moreover, this group has already shown a continuity that we believe will only benefit our team heading into the season. We have a lot of experience with the return of Herb and Teresa. We’ll be adding even more experience, depth and familiarity regarding both the WNBA and New York Liberty with the addition of Barbara.”
Smith, enters her first season at the Liberty helm after serving the previous four seasons as an assistant on Bill Laimbeer’s staff, the last two as Associate Head Coach. Smith is one of the most decorated players in the history of women’s basketball, retiring following the 2013 season as the all-time leading scorer in women’s professional basketball history. In January, she was named one of nine finalists for the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
Assistant coach, Williams, begins his third season with the New York Liberty after joining Bill Laimbeer’s staff prior to the 2015 season. He returned to Madison Square Garden after spending 13 seasons as a coach for the New York Knicks (2001-2014), which marked the longest tenure of any on-the-bench assistant coach in franchise history.
Over the past two seasons, as Williams has worked primarily with the Liberty’s front court players, New York has posted the best defensive field goal percentage in the league and led the WNBA in rebounding (38.6) during the 2016 season. All-Star forward Tina Charles has earned back-to-back All-WNBA First-Team nods, and was the runner-up for league MVP in 2016, when she became just the 3rd player in WNBA history to lead the league in scoring and rebounding in the same season.
An 11-year veteran of the WNBA, Farris spent two years on the Liberty coaching staff (2013-14) and nine years as a player (1998-09). She began her career with the Detroit Shock in 2000 and played there for six seasons which included winning the 2003 WNBA Championship title under Laimbeer. Farris also played for the Liberty in 2006 and 2007.
As a player for New York, Farris averaged 4.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg while shooting .387 from the field. Over the course of her career, the Tulane product put up 3.9 ppg, grabbed 3.0 rpg and shot .433 from the floor. As an assistant, the Liberty finished 11-23 following their 2013 campaign (5th in the Eastern Conference) and 15-19 in 2014 (5th in the Eastern Conference).
Weatherspoon is in her third season as the Director of Player Development with the Liberty. The Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer will continue to spend time conducting individual workouts with Liberty players, focusing on skill development, fitness, and conditioning.