The Connecticut sun would not be where they were today without the leadership and knowledge of the coaching staff.
Coaches help mold players into reaching their true potential, but also teach them about life. The lessons learned on court can be taken into life and the coaches of the Connecticut Sun are influencing more than just players, but fans and communities a like.
Mike Thibault leads this impressive team of players and is one of the premier coaches in the WNBA. He is the longest serving coach in the WNBA and is a two-time WNBA Coach of the Year.
Thibault has also amassed 100 wins as the third fastest coach to reach this mark after only having 159 games under his belt. He has also led the suns to six straight winning seasons and six straight playoff berths. Both of these accomplishments would’ve been made seven, however, injuries plagued the team last year and they were cut short.
In addition to coaching the Suns, Thibault has also been the assistant coach for the USA Basketball team, where he helped the team get a bronze medal at the World Championships in Sao Paolo, Brazil in 2007 and the gold medal at the Summer Olympic Game in Beijing in 2008.
In his first season alone with the Suns in 2003, he led his team to an 18-16 record and the first playoff series win in franchise history. That year the Sun was expected to finish last in the Eastern Conference. Ever since then, the Sun has continued to impress fans and critics alike with their style of play and continued success.
Scott Hawk is one of two assistant coaches for Connecticut. This is his eighth season with the team and works mainly with the post players.
In addition to this he also helps with preparing game plans, and scouting opponents and college players. In 2003, the Suns were ranked 13th in rebounding percentage and 14th in total rebounds. Fast-forward to 2006 where they finished ranked first in total defensive rebounds and second in total rebounds. Connecticut continues to be ranked in the top for rebounding and that is no doubt due to the time, effort and knowledge of Coach Hawk.
Bernadette Mattox is also in her eighth season with the Connecticut Sun. Mattox is a guard and wing specialist, but also helps to prepare game plans and scout both opposing teams and college players. With Mattox’s help, the Sun have never been ranked lower than third place in the assist-to-turnover ratio category since she started in 2003.
The Sun are also ranked second in the league – an excellent ranking – for assists per game, and for the past four seasons the team hashad well over 600 assists per season. Before coming to Connecticut, Mattox found a place in NCAA history bybecoming the first female coach to be a Division I assistant for a men’s team.
She learned for four years under Rick Pitino at Kentucky. In addition to this, she was also the assistant athletic director at Kentucky from 1994-95. Mattox stuck with Kentucky and became the first African American coach of the Kentucky Women’s basketball program.