clear
Monday May 4th, 2015 11:16AM

Atlanta Dream hires Michael Cooper as coach

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Dream hired former NBA star Michael Cooper as head coach on Thursday, hoping he can lead the team to a WNBA championship after three winless trips to the finals.

The 57-year-old Cooper won five titles as a defensive stopper for the Lakers during the "Showtime" era, and he followed up his playing career by guiding the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks to consecutive titles as a coach in 2001 and 2002.

Atlanta won three of the last four Eastern Conference titles, but has yet to win a game in the finals. Cooper takes over for Fred Williams, who was relieved of his coaching duties after Atlanta was swept by Minnesota in this year's championship series.

"The team's appearance in the WNBA finals shows they are on the right track," Cooper said in a statement. "They've been knocking on the door of a championship, and I know what that felt like in my early years with the Sparks, but now it's time to kick the door in and make it happen."

Cooper coached the Sparks from 2000-04, and returned to lead the team again from 2007-09. In between, he served a brief stint as interim coach of the Denver Nuggets and also won a championship coaching in the NBA Development League.

After his second run with the Sparks, Cooper took over as the women's coach at Southern California. He quit in March coming off an 11-20 season - his first losing mark in four seasons - and frustrated with leading the school to only one postseason appearance.

Cooper is the third coach in Atlanta team history. He ranks second among WNBA coaches in winning percentage (.663) and sixth in career victories with a mark of 167-85. His record at USC was 72-57.

"As we look to take the Atlanta Dream to the next level, Michael Cooper brings a caliber of coaching and leadership that is truly unique," team owners Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler said in a statement. "His passion for the game, for the WNBA and his focus on player development will be invaluable. We are excited to build on the success of our franchise for our team, our fans and for the city of Atlanta, and are already working toward an exciting 2014 season."
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 1 year ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
Falcons fire offensive, defensive line coaches
The Atlanta Falcons have fired defensive line coach Ray Hamilton and offensive line coaches Pat Hill and Paul Dunn.
7:02PM ( 1 year ago )
Best, worst of Falcons' 4-12 season
Best Game: They'd been eliminated from playoff contention previous week vs. New Orleans, but the Falcons showed some heart with Dec. 1 overtime victory over Bills in Toronto.
6:21PM ( 1 year ago )
Gonzalez's career ends with another Falcons loss
Tony Gonzalez is ready for the next chapter of his life.
9:47PM ( 1 year ago )
Professional Sports
Spring sports postseason reaches its busiest week
The spring sports postseason is picking up steam now...
1:00PM ( 1 hour from now )
Post Race Notes: Blaney gives Wood Brothers top five
It has been almost 35 years since the Wood Brothers enjoyed their last victory at Talladega Superspeedway, with the late Neil Bonnett behind the wheel.
By Mark McCarter-NASCAR Wire Service
8:00AM ( 3 hours ago )
Hawks go cold in 2nd half, drop Game 1 to Wizards
Bradley Beal shook off a sprained ankle to score 28 points and the Washington Wizards remained unbeaten in the postseason, knocking off the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks 104-98 Sunday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
By The Associated Press
6:34AM ( 4 hours ago )
Teheran dominant in shutout win for Braves
Julio Teheran gave up just three singles in six sharp innings and the Atlanta Braves beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 Sunday for a split of the four-game series.
By The Associated Press
4:38AM ( 6 hours ago )
No. 12 Nighthawks Wrap Regular Season with 23-9 Thrashing of Emmanuel
Senior day was quite special for the No. 12 University of North Georgia baseball team's senior class as seven of the eight UNG upperclassmen saw action with each offensive player getting at least one hit, four seniors smacking home runs and senior southpaw Phillip Taylor earning the victory on the mound as the Nighthawks downed Emmanuel, 23-9, Sunday afternoon at Bob Stein Stadium.
10:47PM ( 12 hours ago )