Curt Miller named WNBA Coach of the Year and inaugural WNBA Basketball Executive of the Year
The WNBA announced today that Connecticut Sun head coach Curt Miller, who guided the team to its first playoff berth in five years, is the league’s 2017 Coach of the Year. He was also named the inaugural WNBA Basketball Executive of the Year.
For Coach of the Year, 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.
For Basketball Executive of the Year, Miller totaled 40 points and received six of 12 first-place votes from a panel composed of one basketball executive from each WNBA team. Washington Mystics general manager and head coach Mike Thibault finished second with 24 points (three first-place votes), and Dallas Wings president and CEO Greg Bibb was third with 18 points (two first-place votes).
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 was named the league’s 2017 Most Improved Player of the Year.
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).