The three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury today announced the hiring of Mercury legend Penny Taylor as the team’s Director of Player Development and Performance. Taylor, a member of all three Mercury championship teams, steps into her new role following a 13-season WNBA playing career, 10 of which were spent in Phoenix.
“As we have always tried to make clear, our organization owes a great deal to Penny Taylor and our hope was that her post-playing career would keep her here, as well,” said Mercury General Manager Jim Pitman. “After playing her final season in 2016, it was important that she took time to consider the next stage of her career, and we couldn’t be happier that she has decided to join our basketball staff in this newly-created player development role. Who better to learn from than a WNBA Champion, an Olympian, a World Champion, an All-Star, and one of the best people you’ll ever meet? We will always have a place in our organization for Penny.”
Taylor said, “I could not be more excited and enthusiastic to be able to remain a part of the team and club that has given me so much. I look forward to working with these great players and coaches, and striving to achieve our individual and team goals. See you soon, X-Factor!”
As Director of Player Development and Performance, Taylor will oversee the on-court development and skill-training of Mercury players, and work in concert with head coach Sandy Brondello and assistant coaches Julie Hairgrove and Todd Troxel. Taylor’s on-court work will begin with the Mercury’s 2017 training camp this April.
The most pivotal offseason in Mercury history came in 2004 when the Mercury won the WNBA draft lottery and the rights to draft Diana Taurasi, and by virtue of record owned the top overall pick in the Cleveland dispersal draft, which Phoenix used on Taylor. Taylor and Taurasi are the only players who were members of all three Mercury championship squads. In Taylor’s 10-season career in Phoenix, she was a three-time All-Star, a two time-time All-WNBA First Team selection, a three-time Olympian, and a two-time Olympic silver medalist for Australia. Taylor finished her playing days having appeared in the third-most games in franchise history, and ranked third in scoring, second in both assists and steals, and fourth in rebounds.
Get a front-row seat for history this summer! Diana Taurasi will open the 2017 regular season just 178 points shy of becoming the all-time leading scorer in WNBA history, as she attempts to lead the Mercury to a WNBA-record tying fourth championship. Tickets for the Fry’s Food Stores Home Opener on Sunday, May 14, and the other 16 regular-season Mercury home games can be purchased by calling 602.252.WNBA or by visiting PhoenixMercury.com.