ATLANTA – Marynell Meadors, the 2009 WNBA Coach of the Year, is no longer the coach and general manager of the Atlanta Dream. The announcement was made today at 4:35 p.m. EDT via a press release that said “Fred Williams has been named the head coach and general manager, effective immediately.”
Tonya Alleyne, the Senior Director of Marketing & Communications, confirmed that Meadors did not resign from her position but was “released by ownership." Team owners Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler have declined to respond to all media inquiries regarding the sudden coaching change, but did release this statement: “We have tremendous respect for her contribution to this sport and wish coach Meadors the very best in her future endeavors.”
The news comes a few days after star guard Angel McCoughtry sat out on Aug. 24 and 25 for “personal reasons” before returning to the court for Saturday’s loss against Minnesota, when she came off the bench for 14 points.
Forty-eight hours after the loss to the Lynx, the players were notified of the coaching change prior to practice today, when Williams officially took over.
This was Meadors' fifth season with the Dream, including leading the team to back-to-back Eastern Conference championships and appearances in the WNBA Finals. Meadors had just returned to Atlanta from the 2012 London Olympics where she assisted USA head coach Geno Auriemma in leading Team USA to a fifth consecutive gold medal.
Williams, who has been an assistant under Meadors since 2008, has extensive coaching experience, including three seasons with the Utah Starzz (now the San Antonio Silver Stars), and previously spent 10 seasons with the University of Southern California.
Williams' debut will be Tuesday night when the Dream host Tulsa at 7p.m.