July 25, 2021
Atlanta Dream interim coach Mike Petersen steps down for health reasons
Darius Taylor assumes head coaching role
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Atlanta Dream interim head coach Mike Petersen announced that he is stepping down from the team’s coaching position on Saturday evening, effective immediately, due to health reasons. Assistant coach Darius Taylor, who has primarily dealt with the team’s defensive scheme, will take over in the interim head coaching role.
“For health reasons that the grind of the WNBA season will not allow me to adequately address, I have decided to step down from my coaching duties with the Dream,” Petersen said. “I want to thank the Atlanta Dream players, staff and ownership for the opportunity to be part of an amazing organization.”
The Dream are in a precarious situation, sitting 2.5 games out of the playoff race with their third coach in as many months. About one week before the season began, former coach Nicki Collen left for Baylor University.
Atlanta’s last month hasn’t gone quite as planned: alongside Petersen’s departure comes Cheyenne Parker’s pregnancy announcement and the indefinite suspension of its young guard, Chennedy Carter. The team has had the worst record in the WNBA since the start of June at 2-11.
Collen and Petersen had both vouched for Taylor, and Petersen said that the head coaching position would be a cooperative effort between both of them. Petersen had also publicly indicated that he was not putting himself in the running for the long-term coaching search. Atlanta still does not have a general manager.
Petersen will move to an advisory role within the team’s front office, per the team’s press release. He has served as an assistant coach since 2018.
The Dream return to practice on Wednesday and resume their season on August 15.