After the departure last month of general manager Angela Taylor, Washington Mystics fans eagerly awaited an announcement on her replacement. However, the Mystics not only replaced Taylor, they also hired a new coach. Former general manager and head coach of the defunct Charlotte Sting Trudi Lacey takes over both positions. After the franchise’s most successful season, former head coach Julie Plank is not returning to the team.
The statement from Monumental Sports & Entertainment vice chairman and Mystics president and managing partner, Sheila C. Johnson:
“We appreciate the patience of our fans as we moved through this process. We were in discussion with Julie about a joint GM/coach role as well as our philosophy moving forward. Julie only wanted to coach the team and both sides agreed to part ways. I am excited to have Trudi Lacey as our general manager and head coach. She is a leader that brings a great deal of experience to her new position, having previously served as the general manager and head coach of the Charlotte Sting. She is very familiar with our team as she has been part of our organization for the last two years. We had a fantastic season and our fan support was tremendous. All of us are excited to begin 2011. Our franchise is 100 percent committed to taking the next step, and we are excited to have our fans take it with us.”
Johnson issued a terse statement after Taylor left the organization in early October:
“Angela Taylor’s contract has expired and we were not able to reach an agreement on a new deal to retain her as general manager of the Washington Mystics. We thank Angela for all of her hard work on behalf of the Mystics and wish her well in her future endeavors.”
Lacy headed the Sting from 2003-2006 and had coaching stints at the University of Maryland, the University of South Florida, NAIA Francis Marion College, Manhattan College and James Madison University. She recently was the head coach at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina.
“I would like to thank Ted Leonsis, Sheila Johnson and the entire Mystics organization for the opportunity to coach an extraordinary group of young ladies in front of the best fans in the WNBA,” said Lacey. “We will continue to work hard to continue to build on the success of the past two seasons.”