ATLANTA, GA -- For the second time in 15 months the Atlanta Dream ownership has let their head coach go.
On Friday, team co-owners Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler announced they will not renew the contract of general manager and head coach Fred Williams, who was promoted last August when the Dream fired then head coach Marynell Meadors.
"Coach Williams has been an instrumental part of our success since the team's inception, and although we have decided to move in a different direction, we appreciate Fred's dedicated service and ensuring that the Dream remained among the top teams in the WNBA," said Brock and Leoffler via press release.
The move is a bit surprising, given the Dream are just eight days removed from a WNBA Finals appearance. With a season-ending injury to starter and 2009 All-Star Sancho Lyttle as well as a slew of short-term injuries to Armintie Herrington, Tiffany Hayes and Le'Coe Willingham, many around the league perceived the Dream as overachieving this season.
"I can only control what do as a coach and I have always coached the Dream to the best of my ability," said Williams who Full Court reached by phone. "I wish the organization the best as it moves forward." He politely declined to comment any further.
Williams, who has been part of the Dream organization since 2008, led the team to a 21-21 overall record this season in his first year at the helm. However, Dream ownership may be frustrated by the fact that the team has now been swept in the WNBA Finals three times in four seasons, with the championship trophy being presented to the opposing team on Atlanta's home court in each of those seasons.
Apparently, ownership does not feel making the Finals was that much of an achievement, despite the fact that 10 other teams did not advance that far.
Williams, who was working under a one-year contract which expires on Nov. 30, will maintain a consulting role as the team transitions to a replacement. Williams said he will look to work with other teams around the league and has little interest in coaching at the college level.
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