The New York Liberty announced on Thursday the team’s coaching staff for the 2013 season, the list includes four former Liberty players; Barbara Farris and Taj McWilliams-Franklin have been hired as assistant head coaches. In addition the franchise will bring in Teresa Weatherspoon and Tamika Whitmore as coaching associates to consult with the team during training camp and periodically during the season.
“I wanted assistant coaches that played the game and understand what championship teams are all about,” said Laimbeer. “Taj and Barb are both familiar with my coaching style and know what it takes to win a championship. I believe the players will get a great education from them as well as great camaraderie.”
Weatherspoon and Whitmore will be involved with team preparation during training camp, working one-on-one with the players on all aspects of the game, while also consulting with the team periodically during the course of the season.
It marks the first WNBA coaching positions for all four former Liberty players, though McWilliams-Franklin and Weatherspoon each have experience coaching at the collegiate level.
“I reached out to Teresa and Tamika to understand the Liberty culture, it’s important to respect past success,” said Laimbeer. “Both are hard-nose competitors; which is what I believe the culture has been and will continue to be with this team.”
“I am ecstatic about this opportunity with Coach Laimbeer and the New York Liberty,” said McWilliams-Franklin. “I feel that coaching is a natural extension of what I have done during my playing career and look forward to matching wits with some of basketball’s greatest coaching minds during the season. I am looking forward to this challenge as everyone in and around the Liberty organization start preparations to bring the long awaited WNBA title to New York.”
Weatherspoon had this to say of the opportunity to rejoin her former team, ““This is a great opportunity for me to learn from someone like Bill Laimbeer, and I can’t thank Louisiana Tech enough for allowing me to take this opportunity to grow as a coach.” The former Libery great continued by saying, “Words cannot express what it feels like to return to a place that is so special and dear to me.”