NEW YORK, Sept. 28, 2021 – Connecticut Sun head coach Curt Miller has been named the 2021 WNBA Coach of the Year, the WNBA announced today. He becomes the sixth coach in the 25-year history of the league to win the award multiple times, joining three-time winners Van Chancellor, Cheryl Reeve and Mike Thibault, and two-time winners Dan Hughes and Bill Laimbeer.
Miller received 41 votes from a national panel of 49 sportswriters and broadcasters. Reeve of the Minnesota Lynx finished second with six votes. Laimbeer of the Las Vegas Aces and Noelle Quinn of the Seattle Storm tied for third with one vote each.
Miller, in his sixth season as a WNBA head coach, guided the Sun to the league’s best record (26-6) and the No. 1 seed in the WNBA Playoffs 2021 presented by Google. The Sun tips off its quest for the franchise’ first WNBA championship tonight at 8 p.m. ET, hosting the sixth-seeded Chicago Sky (ESPN2) in Game 1 of a Semifinals series.
The Sun’s overall winning percentage (.813) in 2021, propelled by a franchise-record 14-game winning streak to close the regular season, is the best mark in franchise history. Connecticut’s 14 straight wins from July 9 through August 19 also ranks as the fourth longest streak in league history. The Sun also led the league in point differential (9.8 ppg).
The 2017 WNBA Coach of the Year and Basketball Executive of the Year, Miller built this year’s team around a trio of 2021 WNBA All-Stars in DeWanna Bonner, Brionna Jones and Jonquel Jones. Bonner ranked among the top 16 in the league in scoring (15.2 ppg) and rebounding (6.4 rpg). Brionna Jones posted career highs in scoring (14.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg). Jonquel Jones led the league in rebounding (11.2 rpg) and ranked fourth in scoring (19.4 ppg).
During the first half of the 2021 season, Miller guided the Sun to a 9-1 record in Commissioner’s Cup Games against Eastern Conference rivals and a berth in the inaugural Commissioner’s Cup Championship Game on Aug. 12 vs. Seattle.
Miller, 52, has led Connecticut to a postseason berth in five straight seasons, including a trip to the 2019 WNBA Finals. Before joining the professional ranks as an assistant with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2015, Miller went 290-124 (.700) over 13 seasons as the women’s coach at Bowling Green (2001-12) and Indiana (2012-14).
Below are the voting results for the 2021 WNBA Coach of the Year Award as well as a list of past recipients.
2021 WNBA COACH OF THE YEAR RESULTS
|Curt Miller||Connecticut Sun||41|
|Cheryl Reeve||Minnesota Lynx||6|
|Bill Laimbeer||Las Vegas Aces||1|
|Noelle Quinn||Seattle Storm||1|
WNBA COACH OF THE YEAR WINNERS
|2021||Curt Miller||Connecticut Sun|
|2020||Cheryl Reeve||Minnesota Lynx|
|2019||James Wade||Chicago Sky|
|2018||Nicki Collen||Atlanta Dream|
|2017||Curt Miller||Connecticut Sun|
|2016||Cheryl Reeve||Minnesota Lynx|
|2015||Bill Laimbeer||New York Liberty|
|2014||Sandy Brondello||Phoenix Mercury|
|2013||Mike Thibault||Washington Mystics|
|2012||Carol Ross||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2011||Cheryl Reeve||Minnesota Lynx|
|2010||Brian Agler||Seattle Storm|
|2009||Marynell Meadors||Atlanta Dream|
|2008||Mike Thibault||Connecticut Sun|
|2007||Dan Hughes||San Antonio Silver Stars|
|2006||Mike Thibault||Connecticut Sun|
|2005||John Whisenant||Sacramento Monarchs|
|2004||Suzie McConnell-Serio||Minnesota Lynx|
|2003||Bill Laimbeer||Detroit Shock|
|2002||Marianne Stanley||Washington Mystics|
|2001||Dan Hughes||Cleveland Rockers|
|2000||Michael Cooper||Los Angeles Sparks|
|1999||Van Chancellor||Houston Comets|
|1998||Van Chancellor||Houston Comets|
|1997||Van Chancellor||Houston Comets|
About the WNBA
Currently in its 25th season in 2021, the WNBA is a bold, progressive basketball league that stands for the power of women. Featuring 12 teams, the W is a unique sports property that combines competition and entertainment with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and social responsibility. Through its world-class athletes, the in-game fan experience, TV and digital broadcasts, digital and social content and community outreach programs, the league celebrates and elevates the game of basketball and the culture around it.
In 2020, the WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) signed a groundbreaking eight-year CBA that charts a new course for women’s basketball—and women’s sports overall—with a focus on increased player compensation, improvements to the player experience, expanded career development opportunities, and resources specifically tailored to the female professional athlete. Key elements of the agreement are supported through the league’s new platform, WNBA Changemakers, with AT&T, the WNBA’s Marquee Partner and inaugural Changemaker, as well as fellow inaugural Changemakers Deloitte and Nike, and the recent addition of Google. During the 2020 season, the WNBA and WNBPA launched the WNBA Justice Movement forming the Social Justice Council with the mission of being a driving force of necessary change and continuing conversations about race and voting rights, among other important societal issues.