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Liberty name John Whisenant head coach and general manager

Fresh off the Liberty wire:

The New York Liberty today announced that John Whisenant has been named Head Coach and General Manager for the team. Whisenant brings more than 30 years of basketball experience to the Liberty, including a WNBA Championship and Coach of the Year honors with the Sacramento Monarchs. The announcement was made by Scott O’Neil, president of MSG Sports. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“John is a proven winner with tremendous experience and an impressive resume, including a WNBA Championship and Coach of the Year award in 2005,” said Mr. O’Neil. “Liberty fans will appreciate how hard the team will play on both ends of the court, and enjoy the continuation of the journey to build a team that will bring a title to New York.”

Whisenant spent seven seasons with the Sacramento Monarchs serving as General Manager; he also added head coaching duties for three full seasons (2004-06) and two partial seasons (2003, 2009). As Head Coach Whisenant compiled a .612 winning percentage (85-54) with the Monarchs during the regular season, which is the third best all-time among WNBA coaches. He was named WNBA Coach of the Year in 2005, the same year he guided the team to its first-ever WNBA Championship. In two of the three full seasons Whisenant served as coach, a Monarchs player was named WNBA Most Improved Player. During his tenure with the Monarchs the team reached the playoffs six out of seven seasons, including two conference finals runs and a conference championship. Whisenant’s playoff coaching record is 19-10.

“It is an honor to be named Head Coach and General Manager for the New York Liberty and to join the Madison Square Garden organization,” said Mr. Whisenant. “New York is a great basketball city with amazing history, and I look forward to the challenge of bringing a championship to the city.”

Whisenant’s successful career as a college basketball coach includes stints at the University of Mexico, Arizona Western College and Coffeyville Community College, where he combined for an impressive .734 winning percentage (282-102). As head coach at Arizona Western University, he led the team to three league championships. While on the coaching staff at the University of New Mexico, the team won two WAC Championships.

The New York Liberty will be temporarily relocated to Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey during the 2011, 2012, and 2013 seasons while Madison Square Garden undergoes a comprehensive, top-to-bottom transformation. The Garden will close for the next three summers for work on the transformation to be completed. Prudential Center is a convenient 15 minutes away from The Garden by train.

Two thoughts:

1. Everybody has at least 15 lives in this country.

2. Couldn’t they pick a better line than the “proven winner” one?

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