The Atlanta Dream WNBA Team is a force to be reckoned with. The Dream got their chance to show the world who they were in the 2008 season. Since then it has been smooth sailing.
The Very Beginning
The Dream first came to be on October 17, 2007 when WNBA President Donna Orender announced that the City of Atlanta had been awarded a WNBA expansion team for the 2008 season. The team would be owned and operated by Atlanta businessman J. Ronald Terwilliger.
Terwilliger has been chairman and chief executive officer of Trammell Crow Residential, a national residential real estate company and the largest developer of multi-family housing in the United States. His commitment to bringing the Dream to Atlanta goes beyond the sport itself.
Terwilliger has been quoted as saying he was doing it to make “a statement of encouragement and support to girls and women in our society. I am participating as a sports fan who will enjoy the journey and as a dad for his daughters and other young women like them.”
The name, logo and color scheme was revealed at the East Lake YMCA with WNBA President Orender and Atlanta City Council President Lisa Borders, along with hundreds of supporters and fans. The color scheme is red and sky blue.
The logo contains Atlanta Dream with three light blue starts with one star in the middle and a basketball propelled out of the star.
First Head Coach and General Manager
The Atlanta Dream named Marynell Meadors as the first Head Coach and General Manager in the team’s history. As one of the eight original coaches in the WNBA history, this is the second time that Meadors has been selected to coach a WNBA team during its inaugural season. Meadors has a lifetime of experience working in professional and collegiate women’s basketball.
Atlanta is her fourth stop in the WNBA after the Sting, Miami Sol, and Mystics. She was the first ever coach of the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles, where she won 363 games including four Ohio Valley Conference Championships in 20 years.
Following Tennessee Tech, she held the top coaching position at Florida State for 10 seasons highlighted by the Seminoles’ run into the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 1991. Meadors has more than 500 wins at the collegiate level and is the winningest coach in Charlotte Sting history. In between duty with the Miami Sol and Washington Mystics, she was an assistant at the University of Pittsburgh for two seasons.
The Atlanta franchise is the sixth WNBA team to be independently owned and operated. The Mohegan Tribe became the first independent ownership group when it purchased the Connecticut Sun in 2003.
In February 2005, Michael Alter purchased the expansion Chicago Sky while the Washington Mystics were sold to Sheila Johnson. In December 2006, Katherine Goodman and Carla Christofferson bought the Los Angeles Sparks, while Houston businessman Hilton Koch purchased the Houston Comets in January 2007. The WNBA had 14 teams in 2008 with the Eastern and Western conferences comprised of seven teams each. The Atlanta Dream joined the teams competing in the Eastern conference.