Goodbye Sacramento Monarchs, Hello Bay Area?

imageThe WNBA Sacramento Monarchs folded as of Friday morning. Team officials might be looking to move the team to the Bay area.

"I am shocked!" general manager and head coach John Whisenant told the television station News10.  "Joe and Gavin [Maloof]) called me [Thursday] night and told me.  I was kept in the dark like everyone else."

He also told News10:

It’s devastating for a lot of people in our organization and our players and fans.  I really thought we were good for at least another year.  This was really a surprise to me.

The decision was made because it’s what’s in the best interest for the Kings.  All the staff and energy will be shifted to try and get the Kings to turn things around.

The station was the first media outlet to break the story.

Within an hour of the News10 report, the league announced discussions to move the franchise to the Bay area.

“The Bay Area has been a desirable market for the WNBA and the availability of the Monarchs provides an opportunity to move a well-known franchise and broaden its fan base within Northern California,” said WNBA President Donna Orender. “Maloof Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Monarchs, has deemed it essential to focus all of its resources on the Sacramento Kings at this time. We understand this decision was a difficult one for them and appreciate the vision, leadership, and support of the Maloof family over the past 10 years.”

The Monarchs ended the season with the worst record in the league at 12-22. The team started the summer on a losing streak under former head coach Jenny Boucek. She was fired after 13 games. Whisenant, the coach that led to the team to its title in 2005, took over coaching duties.

“I want to thank Jenny for her efforts and contributions over the past two-and-a-half years,” said Whisenant in July. “The team is 3-10 overall; we still have over half the season left and we felt it necessary to make this change. We feel like this is a Playoff-caliber team that can compete and to dig ourselves down any further wouldn’t be prudent.”

The team named Boucek the sixth head coach in franchise history on November 15, 2006. She compiled a 40-41 record in her two-plus years with the team. Boucek finished the last two years with records of 19-15 and 18-16.

The Monarchs were an original WNBA franchise and gave the Sacramento its first professional sports team championship.

The last active roster of the Monarchs:

Previous head coaches:

  • Mary Murphy (1997)
  • Heidi VanDerveer (1997-1998), now the head coach at Occidental College
  • Sonny Allen (1999-2000)
  • Maura McHugh (2001-2003)
  • John Whisenant (2003-2006)
  • Jenny Boucek (2007-2009)
  • John Whisenant (2009)

The now defunct Detroit Shock announced a move to Tulsa in October.

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