PHOENIX – The Phoenix Mercury exercised the 2016 option on the contract of head coach and vice president of player personnel Sandy Brondello, the team announced today. She led the Phoenix Mercury to a WNBA-record 29 regular season wins and a WNBA Championship in 2014 and became the first coach in Mercury history to be named the WNBA Coach of the Year.
“There is no question that Sandy is the best coach in the WNBA and was very important to our success in 2014,” said Mercury General Manager Jim Pitman. “We look to continue that success moving forward with her leading our team. Her thorough, detail-oriented preparation is second to none. We value her leadership because she not only knows talent, but uses that talent to ensure the success of our team.”
Brondello enters her second season at the helm of the Mercury and third season as a head coach in the WNBA after turning in a 29-5 (.853) regular-season record last year. In her first year with the Mercury, Brondello’s leadership helped the Mercury to a 10-win improvement over the 2013 season—the largest in the WNBA last season. Including the playoffs in 2014, Brondello led the Mercury to a 21-1 (.955) home record including 20 consecutive wins at US Airways Center. The Australian native became the first coach to win WNBA Coach of the Year honors in the first year of a head coaching tenure since Michael Cooper won the award with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2000.
“Phoenix is becoming home for my family, we love the city and especially the organization,” Brondello said. “Last year was great and we have more work to do this season. I’m excited to be back here and to build upon the success we had last year.”
Named the ninth head coach in Mercury history on November 15, 2013, Brondello has seen success throughout her coaching career. In her 10 years in the WNBA coaching ranks (head coach and assistant coach), her teams have made seven playoff appearances including four trips to the conference finals, two trips to the WNBA Finals and a WNBA Championship.
Including the upcoming 2015 season, Brondello has been involved in the WNBA for 16 of the league’s 19 seasons either as a player, head coach or assistant coach. She played professionally for 17 years, including five years in the WNBA with Detroit (1998-99), Miami (2001-02) and Seattle (2003) and also is a four-time Olympian with Australia who won two Olympic silver medals (2000 and 2004). After winning the championship last season with the Mercury, Brondello became the first former WNBA player to win a title as head coach.
Brondello leads 2014 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Brittney Griner, All-Star Candice Dupree and three-time WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year DeWanna Bonner as the Mercury open defense of their title on Friday, June 5 at 7 p.m. against the San Antonio Stars at US Airways Center. That night, the Mercury will unveil the 2014 WNBA Championship banner and have a pregame championship ring ceremony. Tickets are available by calling 602-252-WNBA or by visiting PhoenixMercury.com.