Mystics hire Trudi Lacey as general manager and coach
Updated 5:30 p.m.
The Washington Mystics announced today that Trudi Lacey has been named general manager and head coach.
In a conference call with reporters, Sheila Johnson, Mystics president and managing partner, summed up the departure of general manager Angela Taylor -- whose contract was not renewed last month -- and coach Julie Plank -- who was let go last week -- and the hiring of Lacey by saying, "This is about business."
"We had to make some cost changes," Johnson said. "Even though we were successful on the floor, you have to understand we weren't successful on the business side. We just have to make these changes in order to keep the franchise alive."
In praising her new coach and general manager, Johnson had little to say about her coaching or personnel abilities. The first thing Johnson mentioned about Lacey was "She is just an amazing woman who's really going to be terrific in the community at large."
According to Johnson, Lacey's hiring came about within the past 48 hours. Since Taylor's departure, Johnson had been trying to get Plank to take on the role of coach and general manager. When she refused, Johnson let her go and promoted Lacey, who was an assistant coach with the Mystics in 2009 and director of basketball operations in 2010.
Johnson said she spoke to her ex-husband Bob Johnson, the former Charlotte Bobcats owner, and her son about hiring Lacey as a coach, and both of them gave Lacey rave reviews.
"We appreciate the patience of our fans as we moved through this process," team President Sheila Johnson said in a statement. "We were in discussion with Julie about a joint gm/coach role as well as our philosophy moving forward. Julie only wanted to coach the team and both sides agreed to part ways."
More details soon.
| November 1, 2010; 3:09 PM ET
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