After their eighth straight loss Sunday, the Dallas Wings announced they had relieved head coach Fred Williams of coaching duties. Assistant coach Taj McWilliams-Franklin has been named interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
“Following today’s game, I made the decision to change direction in regards to our head coaching position,” team president and CEO Greg Bibb said in a statement. “I felt this move was necessary. The season has not met our expectations.”
The Wings entered the year with high hopes after adding Australian center Liz Cambage. Despite early-season injuries, they won five in a row in July and rose as high as third in league standings. Now eighth, they will have to fight with the Las Vegas Aces for the last playoff spot, as they have only a one-game lead. The two teams will play each other this Friday – the second of three remaining games for each.
Williams had been with the franchise since 2014, when they were the Tulsa Shock. He has a good relationship with All-Star point guard Skylar Diggins-Smith, and was key in convincing Cambage to come back to the WNBA.
A two-time WNBA champion, McWilliams-Franklin is in her second year as assistant coach for Dallas. Bibb said the team is in good hands with her.
“I have the upmost confidence that she and our staff will do everything possible to put us in the best position to win,” Bibb said. “I wish Fred the best moving forward. Our focus remains on qualifying for the playoffs and ultimately competing for a WNBA championship.”