Last year, Seattle Storm coach Dan Hughes missed a portion of the 2019 season as he was battling cancer.
This week, it was announced that he will miss this season due to concerns regarding the coronavirus. The WNBA and his physician determined that he is at high-risk for severe illness related to Covid-19 and should sit out the season.
Official: Dan Hughes to miss 2020 Storm Season in Florida.
Veteran assistant coach Gary Kloppenburg elevated to head coach.
— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) June 29, 2020
Gary Kloppenburg will take over the reins this year as head coach.
I am saddened that I won’t be able to travel with the team as everyone knows how much love I have for this organization. I am thankful to be in good health and looking forward to supporting Coach Klopp and the staff and players in any way I can this season.
–Dan Hughes, Seattle Storm coach (release)
While the Storm family is greatly disappointed that Dan will not be able to join the team this season, his health and family are the top priority. We know he will continue to be an important voice of support for the team and staff while we compete this season.
–Alisha Valavanis, Seattle Storm CEO/GM (release)
In addition, Noelle Quinn, a 12-year WNBA veteran was promoted to associate head coach.
If the Storm have close to its full roster of players (including Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart) when play starts in Florida later this month, Seattle is expected to once again contend for a championship after winning its franchise’s third title in 2018.
The latest ESPN power rankings for the W has the Storm at the top spot, followed by the Los Angeles Sparks and defending champion Washington Mystics.