The three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury on Thursday agreed to a new multi-year contract with head coach Sandy Brondello. In addition to her coaching duties, Brondello will continue in her role as vice president of player personnel with Phoenix.
“In three years as the head coach of this team, Sandy has been exactly the leader, communicator and winner that we thought she would be when she was hired in 2013,” said Mercury General Manager Jim Pitman. “More than the wins and the awards, she is a part of the Mercury family and fully committed to helping us sustain and grow our franchise, our league, and the game of women’s basketball. We are very happy to have Sandy, her husband Olaf, and their children, Brody and Jayda, with the Mercury longterm.”
Named the ninth head coach in franchise history on Nov. 15, 2013, Brondello became the first head coach in team history to win WNBA’s Coach of the Year after leading the Mercury to a WNBA-record 29 regular-season wins in 2014. In just three seasons, she owns three appearances in the Semifinals (formerly Western Conference Finals), one Finals appearance and the 2014 WNBA title when she became the first former player in WNBA history to win a championship as a head coach. Brondello owns a 65-37 (.637) regular-season record at the helm of the Mercury, the second-best record in the WNBA in the span behind only Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve. Brondello’s 65 wins are the most in a three-year period in franchise history, the most by a Mercury coach in his/her first three seasons, and the third-most in team history overall (Cheryl Miller, Corey Gaines). The regular season win percentage (.637) is the highest for a head coach in franchise history (minimum one season).
“I’m very excited to continue to be the head coach of the Phoenix Mercury,” Brondello said. “I appreciate the organization believing in me as a coach and the vision I have for this team moving forward. Together with Jim Pitman we will work hard to ensure we improve on the season we had this year and to bring another championship to the best fans in the WNBA.”
In addition to her regular season success, which features the only back-to-back 20-win seasons in team history, Brondello is 11-6 (.647) in the playoffs, tied for the most postseason victories in franchise history (Gaines), and the second-best playoff win percentage (Paul Westhead). A season after rolling through the playoffs to the franchise’s third WNBA title, Phoenix swept a first-round series and returned to the Western Conference Finals in 2015 despite playing without Diana Taurasi and Penny Taylor. Under the WNBA’s new playoff format in 2016, the Mercury were the only road team to win a single-elimination game—and Phoenix won two, ending the seasons of both fifth-seeded Indiana and third-seeded New York.
An 11-year veteran of the WNBA coaching ranks as a head coach or an assistant, Brondello has been affiliated with the WNBA for 17 of its 20 seasons, including her time as a player. During her 17-year professional career as an international player, Brondello spent five years in the WNBA with Detroit (1998-99), Miami (2001-02) and Seattle (2003), and was a 1999 WNBA All-Star. She was a 10-time German Cup Champion while playing with WTV Wuppertal (1992-2002), a three-time European Cup All-Star selection (1994, 1996, 1997), and the 1996 European Cup MVP when she led her team to the title. Brondello is a four-time Olympian and two-time silver medalist (2000, 2004) for Australia.
If you would like to send a personal congratulatory message to Brondello, you can do so at this email address.