Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: WPKatieCarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

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.

By Kathy Orton  | November 1, 2010; 3:09 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Alana Beard shares her thoughts on Angela Taylor, her internship
Next: Transcript of Sheila Johnson's conference call with reporters


OK, well, back to mediocrity, or worse. Julie Plank is a great coach. It comes down to Sheila Johnson not willing to spend money to keep the Mystics among the WNBA's best.

Of course, none of the WNBA teams are making money. I guess we get what we pay for, or don't pay for.

Posted by: zinger1 | November 1, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

This is too bad. Maybe Trudi Lacey will turn out to be terrific, but it feels a bit like a "no other options" move -- like hiring Jim Zorn. I really thought that with Julie Plank and Angela Taylor they were onto something.

Posted by: bethesdaguy | November 1, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Not re-signing the most successful GM in franchise history was bad enough, but now Sheila Johnson has forced out their most successful coach, Julie Plank, all because she (Julie) wisely realized that being a Head Coach and being a GM are two different full time jobs, and she wouldn't agree to compromise her coaching. Good for Julie. As for us fans, it sucks big time.

Sheila is running the team into the ground. If she couldn't find the money to hire two people to do what are two different jobs, then quite frankly she should have folded the team rather than do what she has done today and over the past month.

Posted by: OriginalMysticsFan | November 1, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I liked the path of Angela Taylor and Julie Plank, since they thought ahead--building piece by piece, not just for the coming season but for future seasons. This is the Leonsis model as well. They seemed focused on collecting young talent and extra draft picks, and we had to feel that eventually the Mystics would have enough pieces to win it all.

I just hope that the new path will be as wise as the one the Mystics have been on. At some point, it would be helpful if the new leadership would clarify their planned direction.

Posted by: EdDC | November 1, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

While I get the business decision side of this move, I am really not happy. I was willing to move past letting Angela Taylor go. But Julie Plank? The most successful coach in the team's history? Are you kidding me???

Whatever happened to making a long-term commitment to the head coach? Whatever happened to ending the revolving door? Un-freakin'-believable. I want to support this franchise, and likely will continue, but this latest turn of events is giving me pause.

Posted by: krae-kartoons | November 1, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I think Sheila Johnson has lost her mind with this decision. If the money for a quality coach and GM is not there, maybe she needs to sell the team to someone who can afford it.

Posted by: sallym | November 3, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company