October 12, 2021 

What new head coach Tanisha Wright brings to the Atlanta Dream

14-year WNBA vet brings defensive toughness and experience to Atlanta

Tanisha Wright was named head coach of the Atlanta Dream, the team confirmed this morning. Khristina Williams first reported the news. The 14-year WNBA veteran will take over an Atlanta team with several roster questions and an open general manager position.

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A Penn State graduate, Wright was drafted 12th overall by the Seattle Storm in the 2005 WNBA draft. She retired from the league as a player in 2019. Wright earned all-defensive team honors seven times in her career (first team—2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014; second team—2015, 2016) and was a member of the 2010 WNBA champion Seattle Storm roster. From the 2009 through 2013 seasons, she averaged 10.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. She finished her career with the Bill Laimbeer-led New York Liberty (2015-16, 2019), playing one season in Minnesota (2018).

Prior to being hired by Atlanta, Wright served as an assistant coach on former Liberty coach Laimbeer’s Las Vegas Aces staff for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Vegas finished those seasons with playoff runs to the finals and semifinals, respectively. Wright began her coaching career in 2017 as an assistant coach in the NCAA ranks with the Charlotte 49ers, where her tenure continued through 2020-21 season.

When Laimbeer brought Wright onto his staff in 2020 he said, “Tanisha was the ultimate competitor as a player, and I was fortunate to have her in New York. She prepared herself and her teammates both physically and mentally for every game, and I expect her to take that same approach as she transitions to a full-time coaching career.”

The Dream finished the 2021 season with an 8-24 record and missed the playoffs for a third consecutive year. Atlanta has not had a general manager since May, when it parted ways with Chris Sienko. The team had three different head coaches this season, most recently former assistant coach Darius Taylor.

Written by Tee Baker

Tee has been a contributor to The Next since March Madness 2021 and is currently a contributing editor, BIG EAST beat reporter and curator of historical deep dives.

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