It is common knowledge that a coach is an extremely important aspect of a team’s leadership.
The San Antonio Silver Stars have had several coaching staff changes since the teams beginning in 1997. Last year, Sandy Brondello was the head coach and Olaf Lange was the assistant head coach.
However, because of the recent marriage between the two, the general manager of the team, Dan Hughes, has decided not to continue the contract with Brondello and Lange.
Brondello was promoted to head coach on February 25, 2010, after five seasons as assistant coach to Hughes.
A Seasoned Coach and a New Coach
Because of the decision to not rehire Brondello and Lange, the San Antonio Silver Stars have been forced to get some new coaching blood. Luckily for them, they chose very wisely. Hughes, who had coached the team for five years prior, was renamed the head coach.
For their assistant coach, the Silver Stars management decided to take on Vickie Johnson, a seasoned WNBA player. She finished her career in 2009 as the league’s leader in number of games, as well as number of minutes on the court.
Hughes spent ten years as the head coach of various teams, including the Charlotte Sting, the Cleveland Rockers, and of course, the San Antonio Silver Stars. His skill as a coach is marked by the fact that he is the only coach in the WNBA to ever take three different franchises to the playoffs. Further, he was named WNBA Coach of the Year in 2007, in addition to being runner up for the award four times.
Prior to his time in the WNBA, Hughes spent two years coaching the University of Toledo’s women’s basketball team, and then five years coaching their men’s basketball team. Currently, in addition to serving as both head coach and manager for the Silver Stars, Hughes is also on the five person selection committee, which picks the team to represent the United States in both the 2010 World Championship and the 2012 Olympics.
Hughes and his wife Mary have two children named Bryce and Sara. Sara is currently a volleyball coach at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Vickie Johnson was born in 1972 and raised in Coushatta, Louisiana. She showed atheleticism at an early age. In high school, Johnson lettered in both basketball and track and field, where she specialized in the long jump. As a high school senior, she was the Louisiana State Champion in that event. She attended college at Louisiana Tech, after which she began a successful WNBA career.
Johnson spent nine years as a player in the WNBA, ending her career in 2009. Four years prior to her WNBA career, she played professionally on international teams. She returns this year to the league as the assistant coach for the San Antonio Silver Stars. Her skill in basketball cannot be denied.
She has twice been named a WNBA All-Star, and in 2005 reached a WNBA career total of 3000 points. In 20006, she ended her time as a player for the New York Liberty to sign with the Silver Stars.