• September 27, 2021

Los Angeles Sparks fire head coach Carol Ross

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 7: Head Coach Carol Ross of the Los Angeles Sparks poses with her award for Coach of the Year prior to Game Two of the WNBA Western Conference Finals against the Minnesota Lynx at Staples Center on October 7, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Jon SooHoo/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES (October 7, 2012) – Sparks head coach Carol Ross poses with her award for 2012 Coach of the Year prior. Photo by Jon SooHoo/NBAE via Getty Images.

The Los Angeles Sparks entered the WNBA All-Star break after dropping a home game to Washington preceded by three wins on the road. However, the team’s 10-12 record includes seven losses at home. With the season at the halfway mark, the Sparks front office decided a change was necessary and fired head coach Carol Ross.

Ross joined the Sparks as head coach in 2012, amassing a 61 – 36 career record in two and a half seasons, including two playoff appearances. One of her assistants, former Texas and Duke coach Gail Goestenkors, resigned in the wake of the firing. Sparks executive vice president and general manager Penny Toler will serve as the team’s head coach for the remainder of the season. Assistant coach Gary Kloppenburg remains on the staff and the team added former Sparks assistant, Steve Smith who returns to the franchise after serving as an assistant coach during the 1998, 2009 and 2010 seasons.

“I’d like to thank Carol for her contributions to the Sparks organization, team and Los Angeles community,” said Toler. “Carol is a tremendous coach, but we felt it was time to bring in a different energy to this team. Decisions like this are never easy, and we wish Carol the best.”

Toler has spent her entire WNBA career in Los Angeles, amassing 17 years as a player, general manager and executive vice president with the Sparks.

The Sparks continue play at home game Wednesday, July 23 vs. the New York Liberty.

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