Tulsa Shock fires coaching staff; Mercury president and COO resigns

Hard-hitting news day.

The Tulsa Shock fired coach Gary Kloppenburg and his staff, after two seasons.

Phoenix Mercury president and COO Amber Cox has reportedly resigned. She has confirmed the decision, in so many words, via twitter. Sources say Cox has also posted the news on her Facebook page. Mercury fans report getting this email:

X-Factor,

I have written you many letters in my time with the Mercury, but undoubtedly this will be the most difficult because it will be the last. After nine years working for the best organization in sports, and alongside the best fans in the WNBA, I have decided to start a new chapter and pursue a new venture.

To say this is bittersweet would be a supreme understatement; but, as much as I will miss our players, staff and incredible fans, what makes this move possible for me is the confidence I have in the direction the organization is headed. I am proud to say that confidence is rooted in our unparalleled business success over the past nine years, culminating in a record-setting season in 2013. The precedent was set before me, and it is a standard that will continue to be reached after me: this is the best organization in the WNBA.

Every night on the court we judge successes and failures in terms of wins and losses. But the ultimate victory, as I have always told everyone who will listen, is that the WNBA has changed the world. Young women joining the league now have never known a world without a professional women’s basketball league in the United States. Unlike my generation and generations before me, today playing professionally is a possibility for everyone on the playground court—not just the boys. That is why this league matters, why your support is so valuable, why I am so thankful for my time with the Mercury, and why I will continue to be an advocate and fan of the women’s game and the WNBA no matter where I go. I know most of you share that passion.

So I write to say thank you, not simply for your unwavering support over the last nine years I have been here, but for believing in what this league and this team can be, next year and beyond. Thank you for your enthusiasm and engagement, for making Brittney Griner’s jersey the league’s top seller, for making PhoenixMercury.com the league’s most visited site, for leading historic, league-wide increases in attendance and television ratings. Basically, thanks for making it so enjoyable for me to come to work each day.

The 18th Mercury season starts in just over 200 days. I plan to be in the stands and I hope to see you all there.

Until then, all my gratitude,

Amber Cox

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