Washington Mystics’ legend HC Mike Thibault retiring

Mike Thibault, the WNBA’s all-time winningest coach, has retired as a head coach of the Washington Mystics and he will be replaced by his son Eric Thibault. Mike Thibault will remain in the organization as a general manager.

Thibault’s coaching career began in the NBA as an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1980. He also worked as an assistant for the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks. In 2003, Thibault made the jump to the WNBA as the head coach of the Connecticut Sun.

In 10 seasons he led the Sun to eight playoff appearances, five semifinals and two Finals. He then joined the Mystics in 2013 and led the team for 10 years before announcing his retirement Tuesday.

During his 10 years in charge, the Mystics also made eight playoff trips and won the franchise’s first championship in 2019. Over his 20-year WNBA career, Thibault went 379-289, and missed the playoffs just four times.

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“I am proud to have been the head coach of the Washington Mystics the past 10 years,” Thibault stated in a press release.

“After 55 years in coaching (the last 20 in the WNBA), I feel like it is time to turn this team over to Eric and his coaching staff on the court. He is ready and prepared for it. I am looking forward to my continued role as GM.”

The Mystics finished 22-14 last season, and ended up with the No. 5 seed after losing a tiebreaker to the Seattle Storm. The Mystics were eliminated by the Storm in the first round of the playoffs after a hard-fought two-game sweep.

With Eric Thibault taking over, the Mystics hope to re-establish their position as one of the top teams in the WNBA. They have things to look forward as a franchise as No. 2 overall pick Shakira Austin showed enormous potential.

At the same time, Natasha Cloud and Ariel Atkins were both named to the All-Defensive First Team, and most importantly, Elena Delle Donne was healthy for the entire season 2021-22 season.

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