WNBA’s Atlanta Dream has announced that team’s general manager and head coach Marynell Meadors has been fired (or “replaced” in their release), assistant coach Fred Williams has been promoted to head coach and general manager.
News were originally broken by University of Connecticut and USA National Team head coach Geno Auriemma with this tweet:
— Geno Auriemma (@genoauriemma) August 27, 2012
(He misspelled her name and she’s not on twitter)
It doesn’t require much to see that this revolves around Angel McCoughtry, who sat out two games last week for “personal reasons”. Even with McCoughtry available on Saturday she saw just bench player’s minutes.
Maybe you can read that tweet otherwise, but it seems to suggest that the owners were forced to choose between the inmate (McCoughtry) and Meadors.
One can easily see why such decision would be made in that situation. Coaches are easier to replace than star players. Fans don’t go to watch the coaches they go to watch the players. Had they shipped McCoughtry or had she decided to sit out the rest of the season, Atlanta would see a decrease in attendance which right now is 1800 under the league average (only Tulsa and Chicago are worse).
In the press release by the Dream, Williams said that the team will continue to play as they did under Meadors. What no one else right now can predict is what will happen in the Dream locker room. Are the players behind this move or has McCoughtry split the locker room?
As for Meadors, Washington Mystics could certainly use someone like her, having shown that she, at least, is competent in combining coaching with general manager duties.