James Wade named 2019 WNBA Coach of the Year

Photo Credit: Annie Costabile/Chicago Sun-Times

The 2019 season for the Chicago Sky has been nothing short of resurgent.

In the two seasons since Elena Delle Donne left the Windy City to play for the Washington Mystics (and be closer to her native Delaware), the Sky has encountered more than its fair share of hard luck on the court.

The Sky have since added Gabby Williams and Diamond DeShields to the team, undergone a logo change and a venue change from Allstate Arena in Rosemont to Wintrust Arena in the South Loop.

Arguably, the biggest change the Sky have undergone was the coaching change from Amber Stocks (who took over for Pokey Chatman) to James Wade, a product of Cheryl Reeve’s coaching tree she has built in Minnesota.

Chicago finished the 2019 campaign with a 20-14 record and, as of this writing, are within one win of the semifinals. The Sky’s mark is a seven-game improvement on 2018 when they went 13-21. That impressive track record for the first-year Sky head coach earned him Coach of the Year honors.

Wade became the first coach in the Sky’s history to win Coach of the Year. The Sky’s only other two seasons where they won at least 20 games were 2013 (Delle Donne’s first year with Chicago) and 2015.

Wade earned 27 first-place votes, followed by the Mystics’ Mike
Thibault who notched 12. Dan Hughes of the Seattle Storm got two and Derek Fisher (Los Angeles Sparks) and Curt Miller (Connecticut Sun) got one apiece.

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