ATLANTA - The WNBA Atlanta Dream announced today that Karleen Thompson has been named an assistant coach on new Dream head coach Michael Cooper's staff. The appointment reunites the pair who previously worked together with the Los Angeles Sparks from 2002-04.
"It will be a pleasure to work with Karleen again," said Cooper. "She knows the ins and outs of the WNBA and her knowledge of the league will be a big asset. In addition, her player development skills are some of the best in the profession and put her in the top level of coaches in the game."
"I am very excited to be a part of the Atlanta Dream organization," said Thompson. "I am looking forward to working with Coach Cooper again and can't wait to get to work on bringing a WNBA Championship to the city of Atlanta.
Thompson comes to the Dream after most recently serving as Assistant Coach and Defensive Coordinator at Clemson University for three seasons from 2010-13. Prior to that she spent 12 years in the WNBA, including serving as the head coach and general manager of the Houston Comets from two seasons from 2007-08, posting a record of 30-38. She was promoted to that position after serving as an assistant coach with the Comets the two prior seasons.
Before coaching with the Comets, Thompson spent eight years in the Los Angeles Sparks organization. She joined the Sparks in 1997 and was promoted to assistant coach in 2002. In 2004, she served as interim co-head coach following the mid-season departure of Cooper to join the staff of the Denver Nuggets of the NBA. She helped guide the Sparks to an 11-3 record over the final 14 games of the regular season, clinching the league's best overall mark (25-9).
Thompson helped the Sparks to WNBA titles in 2001 and 2002 and served as an assistant on the Western Conference All-Star for two seasons (2002, 2003). She was also an assistant coach for the WNBA Select Team that captured second place in the FIBA Women's World Cup 2003 which was held in Samara, Russia.
Thompson is a 1997 graduate of the University of Southern California, where she lettered in basketball for two seasons on a Trojan team that featured Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson. A double-major in Psychology and Sociology, Thompson worked in the Sales and Marketing department with Gatorade after her graduation.
Thompson began her collegiate career at Contra Costa College in Northern California, where she was a Kodak All-American and later earned a spot in the Junior College Hall of Fame.
Thompson was a highly-recruited three-sport athlete at Snyder (Texas) High School in basketball, volleyball and track, earning High School All-State honors in all three sports.
The three-time Eastern Conference Champion Atlanta Dream completed its sixth season in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) in 2013 with a trip to the WNBA Finals. The Dream has qualified for the playoffs in each of the past five seasons, including conference titles in 2013, 2011 and 2010.
Source: Atlanta Dream press release.