Sandy Brondello Reportedly Expected to Agree to Contract as New Liberty Head Coach

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 1, 2022

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 16:  Sandy Brondello of the Phoenix Mercury talks to the media at practice and media availability during the 2021 WNBA Finals on October 16, 2021, at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. 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 Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

The WNBA's New York Liberty are reportedly "expected" to name Sandy Brondello the team's new head coach, per ESPN's Ramona Shelburne

Ramona Shelburne @ramonashelburne

Brondello was one of three finalists β€”along with Spurs assistant Becky Hammon and Sparks assistant Latricia Trammell. Hammon is now the Aces head coach. Trammell, who has led a top 3 defense in all three seasons with the Sparks, should be soon.

Brondello, 53, played in the WNBA between 1998-03 for the Detroit Shock, Miami Sol and Seattle Storm, averaging 11.4 points and 2.3 assists per game. 

She pivoted to coaching in 2005, serving as an assistant on the San Antonio Silver Stars until 2009, when she was promoted to head coach for the 2010 season. She was fired after one season on the job, leading the team to a 14-20 record,

Brondello then served as an assistant for the Los Angeles Spark between 2011-13 before being appointed the head coach of the Phoenix Mercury in 2014. 

She remained in that post until this past season, leading the team to a 150-108 record during her tenure and eight straight playoff appearances. The Mercury won the title in 2014 and lost in the finals this year to the Chicago Sky. 

The Mercury and Brondello agreed to "mutually" part ways in December after her contract expired:

Phoenix Mercury @PhoenixMercury

On behalf of the entire X-Factor, thank you, Sandy. <a href="https://t.co/N8elIOG07h">pic.twitter.com/N8elIOG07h</a>

"To be quite honest, I've been here for eight years, and management decided it was good to have a new voice so if you call that mutual, that's what it was," she told ESPN's Ball and the Real World podcast.

Brondello, who also coaches Australia's national team, hinted that she had an interest in the Liberty gig. 

"I'd like to stay coaching in the WNBA,"  she said. "I love the challenge of bringing a team together in the best league in the world with the best players in the world. The only team that's available is New York, that would be a great situation if they deemed me to be the next coach. We'll see, if not I can focus on the Opals next year and look the following year if any jobs become available. I like challenging myself, so we'll see."

Jackie Powell (she/her) @ClassicJpow

8/ Brondello will have more depth to work w and maximize than she's had in years. That depth is still quite young. A question that remains is how does she continue to commit to player development. Players like Richards, Willoughby, Shook et. al. still need attention on that end.

Rachel Galligan @RachGall

Sandy Brondello to the New York Liberty is a perfect fit in my opinion with the direction of the franchise, the young and evolving roster, and her league experience.

She'll be leading an exciting Liberty squad headlined by the talented trio of Sabrina Ionescu, Michaela Onyenwere and Betnijah Laney. The Liberty went 12-20 last season under Walt Hopkins and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Phoenix.