April 3, 2022
Marianne Stanley, Lindsay Whalen and Swin Cash inducted into Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame
Indiana Fever head coach Marianne Stanley has been inducted into the 13-person class of 2022, joining legends Lindsay Whalen and Swin Cash
Indiana Fever head coach Marianne Stanley is a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer.
“Being selected for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an incredible honor,” Stanley shared via a team-issued statement. “I am truly humbled to be recognized for my life’s work as a coach, and included as a member of the Class of 2022.”
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Stanley’s legendary career is being rightly recognized. Prior to coaching, Stanley played for Immaculata University where she was a part of the Mighty Macs squad that won three consecutive championships. That team would go on to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, and Stanley was a two-time All-American for the group.
Since her playing days, the Pennsylvania native has coached professionally in some capacity since the 1970s, including multiple stops at both the collegiate and WNBA levels. She guided the Old Dominion Monarchs to multiple Final Fours, including an NCAA title in 1985, and led the Washington Mystics to the Conference Finals in 2002. Her resume crosses six different universities and four WNBA franchises — not many coaches on the planet have equaled Stanley’s impact.
“Marianne has been a champion as a player at Immaculata, as a coach at Old Dominion, and as a Coach with the Washington Mystics. She will always be a significant part of the growth of women’s basketball,” Fever interim general manager Lin Dunn shared. Dunn and Stanley coached against each other during the 2002 season.
After three disappointing seasons from 2017 to 2019, the Fever hired Marianne Stanley to guide the franchise in November of 2019. Her task has been not only to help grow the team into a contender but also to instill championship habits into the roster. Despite two losing seasons at the helm so far, she has the respect of her players and others within the franchise.
“I’m happy and excited to work with Marianne Stanley, one of the outstanding coaches,” Dunn said at her introductory press conference. “I think we’re putting together the things that we need to do to improve.”
The 2002 WNBA coach of the year will hope to bring the Fever back to the postseason in 2022, but this season will be all about improvement in Indiana. Stanley, thanks to her Hall of Fame experience, should have no trouble helping the new-look Fever improve and add another line item to Stanley’s resume.
Lindsay Whalen was unable to make it to the planned press conference due to issues with her flight, but the timing of the announcement lined up well with the eyes of the women’s basketball world being on Whalen’s home state.
“I’ve always loved her competitive spirit,” said Whalen’s former USA Basketball head coach Geno Auriemma. “She has a personality that’s infectious to everybody else. She’s a great leader because of that. She’s an All-star, and she’s a WNBA champion.”
“I asked her to come off the bench and be a role player for the Olympic team, and she did it about as well as it could ever be done by anybody and did it twice without ever batting an eye. To me, that’s what champions do.”
UConn great and WNBA champion Swin Cash was also named one of the 13 members of the 2022 Hall of Fame class, and Auriemma spoke of her competitive nature and passion:
“Her willingness to do whatever she needed to do to get what she wanted and [she] was a great teammate — I mean, if you can have those two things, that kind of competitive greatness, which she has that in a supply that I’ve never seen before … she’s competitive in basketball, and she’s competitive in life. I saw that in high school, and it’s still there today.”