Former WNBA Player Tanisha Wright Named Dream HC After 2 Years as Aces Assistant

Erin WalshOctober 12, 2021

BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 3:  Assistant Coach Tanisha Wright of the Las Vegas Aces coaches during the game against the New York Liberty on June 3, 2021 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Catalina Fragoso/NBAE via Getty Images)
Catalina Fragoso/NBAE via Getty Images

Former WNBA player Tanisha Wright has been named head coach of the Atlanta Dream, the franchise announced Tuesday. 

Wright has spent the last two seasons working as an assistant coach for the Las Vegas Aces. 

"It's an honor to be chosen as head coach for the Atlanta Dream, and I'm excited to play a role in building a successful organization centered around the player experience," Wright said in a statement. "I have been part of championship teams and understand what it takes to win in this league. I look forward to bringing my talents to this franchise and helping the Dream achieve success."

Wright becomes the fifth Black coach in the WNBA, per ESPN's Mechelle Voepel. The 37-year-old played in the league from 2005-19, winning a championship in 2010 with the Seattle Storm. She averaged 7.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists in her 14 WNBA seasons.

Before joining the WNBA, Wright was a three-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year at Penn State and was named a first-team USBWA All-American. 

Wright takes over an Atlanta team that went 8-24 this season. The Dream haven't made the playoffs since the 2018 campaign. 

Atlanta has had plenty of turnover in the last few months, and Wright is only the latest addition to the franchise. The team was recently sold to new ownership after players strongly objected to former co-owner Kelly Loeffler, who was vocally opposed to the Black Lives Matter movement and the players' social justice work.

Atlanta also fired general manager Chris Sienko after April's WNBA draft, and head coach Nicki Collen left to take the women's head coaching job at Baylor. 

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts tweeted their interest in putting together an ownership group for the Dream in January, but that plan ultimately fell through as the franchise was sold to a group that includes real estate investor Larry Gottesdiener, former Dream guard Renee Montgomery and Suzanne Abair, president of Northland Investment Corp.