Storm, WNBA coaching icon Dan Hughes retires

Dan Hughes coaches the Seattle Storm during the game against the Minnesota Lynx on May 20, 2021.

SEATTLE — The Seattle Storm announced today that Dan Hughes will be retiring from the WNBA. Hughes’ tenure in the league has spanned 20 years including coaching assignments with Charlotte, Cleveland, San Antonio, Seattle.

Hughes, who will remain as assistant coach for USA Basketball in the upcoming 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, closes out his career with the second most games coached in WNBA history (598), and is tied for the third-most wins with 286. In his first year in Seattle, Hughes guided the team to a league-best 26-8 record, an 11-win improvement from the previous season; clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs; and swept the Washington Mystics in the WNBA Finals to earn the third title in franchise history. He was twice named WNBA Coach of the Year: first in 2001, after guiding the Cleveland Rockers to a 22-10 mark; and again in 2007, after posting a 20-14 record with San Antonio.

“After over 40 years of coaching basketball, I want to finish my career with the focus and determination with which I started,” said Hughes. “The Seattle Storm is in amazing shape, after two championships and a terrific playoff run in 2019, I would like to announce my retirement from the WNBA. I believe now is the right time because the team is performing well, but the rigors of being a head coach in the WNBA have taken their toll on me. I look forward to coaching with USA Basketball at the 2021 Olympics then leveraging my experience to give back to the game in other ways. Mary and I value the relationships we have formed in Seattle over the past four years and want to thank everyone for their ongoing support.”

“It is rare when a leader has the foresight to make changes at the pinnacle of their career,” said Lisa Brummel, co-owner of the Storm. “Under Dan’s leadership, the Storm have won two championships and he has built a great coaching staff here in Seattle. His dedication to his craft is second to none and his legacy is perfectly exemplified by his unselfish nature and ability to see all that lies ahead. It has been an honor to have Dan coach in Seattle and he will forever be attached to one of the most successful periods this franchise has known.”