In a move that doesn’t come as much of a shock here at the Swish, the Los Angeles Sparks have relieved Carol Ross of her head coaching duties.
According to ESPN.com’s Mechelle Voepel, the Los Angeles Sparks have decided to relieve head coach Carol Ross of her duties. Ross signed a multi-year extension with the team in December before a Paula Madison-led ownership group renounced ownership of the team. General Manager and Executive Vice President is reportedly going to take over head coaching duties.
Sparks make it official: Carol Ross fired; GM Penny Toler new head coach. Gary Kloppenburg stays; Steve Smith returns as other assistant.
— Mechelle Voepel (@MechelleV) July 21, 2014
There was some speculation early that after Gail Goestenkoers and Gary Kloppenburg were named assistant coaches that Ross’ job may be in jeopardy; their struggles to start the season, even sitting in the cellar for a stretch before picking it up heading into the All-Star break, didn’t help.
The Sparks currently sit in fourth place in the Western Conference with a record of 10-12. Nneka Ogwumike just completed stints as All-Stars representing the Sparks. After finding themselves at the bottom of the conference for a stretch before picking it up with a three-game winning that was ended by a loss to the middling Washington Mystics heading into the break for all-star. That seems to have been the final nail in the coffin.
UPDATE: In an official release from the Sparks’ website, it appears that assistant Gail Goestenkoers is not returning as well as former Sparks assistant Steve Smith will replace her.