Sun’s Curt Miller named 2017 WNBA Coach of the Year

NEW YORK – Connecticut Sun Head Coach Curt Miller, who guided the team to its first playoff berth in five years, has been named the 2017 WNBA Coach of the Year, the WNBA announced today.  He follows Mike Thibault (2006, 2008) as the second Connecticut coach to earn the honor.

Miller received 36 votes from a national panel of 40 sportswriters and broadcasters.  Cheryl Reeve of the Minnesota Lynx finished second with two votes, while Brian Agler of the Los Angeles Sparks and Bill Laimbeer of the New York Liberty tied for third with one vote each.

The Sun, which earned the No. 4 seed in the WNBA Playoffs 2017 presented by Verizon, will host the Phoenix Mercury in a second-round, single-elimination game today at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

In Miller’s second season as head coach, the Sun overcame a 1-5 start to finish with a 21-13 record, its highest win total since recording 25 victories in 2012.  Connecticut’s seven-win improvement from 2016 came without 2014 WNBA Rookie of the Year Chiney Ogwumike, who missed the season while recovering from Achilles tendon surgery.

Miller, who is also the Sun’s general manager, led a roster that produced three first-time All-Stars in 2017: forward/center Jonquel Jones, forward Alyssa Thomas and guard Jasmine Thomas.

Jones set WNBA single-season records for rebounding average (11.9), total rebounds (403) and total defensive rebounds (280).  Alyssa Thomas posted career highs in scoring (14.8 ppg), rebounding (6.8 rpg) and assists (4.5 apg).  Jasmine Thomas set career highs in scoring (14.2 ppg), field goal percentage (42.1) and three-point field goal percentage (40.3).

Under Miller’s direction, the Sun finished second in the league in scoring (86.0 ppg) and rebounding (36.7 rpg).  Connecticut also ranked third in offensive rating (105.5 points per 100 possessions) and fourth in defensive rating (100.1 points allowed per 100 possessions).

Miller, who was hired by the Sun in December 2015, went 14-20 in his first season as a WNBA head coach in 2016.  Before joining the professional ranks as a Sparks assistant coach in 2015, the 48-year-old went 290-124 (.700) over 13 seasons as the women’s coach at Bowling Green (2001-12) and Indiana (2012-14).

At Bowling Green, Miller was named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year six times in 11 seasons.  He guided the Falcons to eight regular-season MAC titles and five MAC Tournament championships.  Bowling Green made five NCAA Tournament appearances under Miller, and the 2007 team was the first in MAC history to reach the Sweet 16.

Below are the voting results for the 2017 WNBA Coach of the Year award as well as a list of past recipients:

Coach                               Team                                            Votes
Curt Miller                     Connecticut Sun                            36
Cheryl Reeve                    Minnesota Lynx                            2
Brian Agler                       Los Angeles Sparks                      1
Bill Laimbeer                    New York Liberty                         1



2017          Curt Miller                             Connecticut Sun
2016          Cheryl Reeve                          Minnesota Lynx
2015          Bill Laimbeer                          New York Liberty
2014          Sandy Brondello                     Phoenix Mercury
2013          Mike Thibault                         Washington Mystics
2012          Carol Ross                              Los Angeles Sparks
2011          Cheryl Reeve                          Minnesota Lynx
2010          Brian Agler                             Seattle Storm
2009          Marynell Meadors                  Atlanta Dream
2008          Mike Thibault                         Connecticut Sun
2007          Dan Hughes                            San Antonio Silver Stars
2006          Mike Thibault                         Connecticut Sun
2005          John Whisenant                       Sacramento Monarchs
2004          Suzie McConnell-Serio           Minnesota Lynx
2003          Bill Laimbeer                            Detroit Shock
2002          Marianne Stanley                    Washington Mystics
2001          Dan Hughes                            Cleveland Rockers
2000          Michael Cooper                      Los Angeles Sparks
1999          Van Chancellor                       Houston Comets
1998          Van Chancellor                       Houston Comets
1997          Van Chancellor                       Houston Comets


About the WNBA
The WNBA – which features 12 teams and is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world – is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity.  The league, which counts Verizon as its leaguewide marquee partner, completed its 21st regular season on Sept. 3, 2017.

Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education.  For more information on the WNBA, log on to