Veteran WNBA player, coach and former Australian Olympian Sandy Brondello (braun-DELL-oh) was named the ninth head coach in franchise history on November 15, 2013. Brondello also serves as the team’s vice president of player personnel. On October 13, 2016, the Mercury signed Brondello to a multi-year contract extension.
Known for her intense preparation for each opponent, Brondello has compiled an overall regular season record of 118-86 in her first six seasons with the Mercury, making her the all-time winningest coach in franchise history. Additionally, Brondello has compiled a 17-13 postseason record at the helm of the Mercury, also ranking her as the winningest coach in franchise history in the postseason. She was named the 2014 WNBA Coach of the Year marking the first time a Mercury coach picked up the honor. She led the team to a WNBA regular season-record 29 wins and capped the season with a WNBA Championship.
A 14-year veteran of the WNBA coaching ranks, Brondello has been affiliated with the league for 21 of the league’s 24 seasons, including her time as a player. A proven winner internationally and in the WNBA, her 15 total years as an assistant coach and head coach have featured 11 playoff appearances, including eight semifinals round berths (formerly conference finals), the 2014 WNBA Championship and a spot in the 2008 WNBA Finals. Brondello joined the Mercury after serving as lead assistant coach for the Los Angeles Sparks (2011-13) under 2012 WNBA Coach of the Year Carol Ross. Brondello led the San Antonio Silver Stars to a 2010 playoff berth in her lone season at the helm following five seasons on the Silver Stars bench as an assistant under Dan Hughes (2005-09), the third-winningest coach in league history.
A 2010 inductee into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame, Brondello was named the 11th head coach for the Australian Women’s National Basketball team on April 17, 2017. While she continues to serve in her role as head coach for the Mercury, Brondello will spend her off seasons preparing the Aussies for a trip to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Recently, Brondello led the Australian National Team to the gold medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, finishing with a perfect 5-0 in the games and winning by an average of 53 points per game, and guided the Opals to the silver medal in the 2018 Women’s World Cup, losing only to Team USA in the gold medal game.
During the WNBA offseason, Brondello used to serve as an assistant coach with Russian League team UMMC Ekaterinburg. Now the Mercury’s head of player personnel, Phoenix’s pro scouting efforts are buoyed by Brondello’s knowledge of and exposure to overseas talent.
Brondello finished a stellar 17-year professional playing career with a five-year run in the WNBA in which she played for Detroit (1998-99), Miami (2001-02) and Seattle (2003), and was named a 1999 WNBA All-Star. She began her career with the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) in Australia (1986-96), and was named the league MVP in 1995. The 5-7 guard was a 10-time German Cup champion while playing with BTV 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.
An 18-year member of the Australian National Team, Brondello is a four-time Olympian, a two-time silver medalist (2000, 2004) and was named the 1992 Australian International Player of the Year. In her time with the national team, she was a teammate of former Mercury forward, and current assistant coach for Phoenix, Penny Taylor.
Brondello is married to Olaf Lange, who is the head coach of the Russian women’s national basketball team. The couple has two children, Brody and Jayda.