Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thibault signs contract extension

The Sun announced this afternoon coach Mike Thibault has signed a two-year contract extension with an option for a third.

Thibault was entering the option year of the contract he signed back in 2008 that Chris Sienko said at the time put the coach in the upper pay scale of coaches league-wide. Terms of the latest extension were not disclosed.

Thibault is the only coach in Sun history, taking over the team when it relocated in 2003. He also handles player personnel decisions and numerous players in the past have said he's the main reason they have signed to play in Connecticut.

Thibault is a two-time WNBA Coach of the Year, and in the league's GM survey, also realeased on Thursday, he was voted best coach, earning 36 percent of votes.

"I have enjoyed every part of being here, every part of this job,” Thibault said in a press release. “I look forward to going to work every day. I like my team and I like the direction we are headed. There's a lot that goes in to building a winning organization, and I think we've done a lot of great things to give us a bright future. I’m looking forward to being the coach of this group."

The Sun underwent a major overhaul from last season, bringing back just five players from the 2009 team and adding No. 1 overall pick Tina Charles, No. 3 overall pick Kelsey Griffin and free agent Kara Lawson. The Sun also picked up forward DeMya Walker in the Sacramento dispersal draft and traded for starting point guard Renee Montgomery.

The GM survey also cited the Sun as the team that made the best offseason personnel moves and Charles as most likely to win Rookie of the Year awards. League GMs also think Charles will be the best rookie five years from now.

Currently the longest-serving coach in the league, Thibault was the third fastest in WNBA history to reach 100 wins. His .601 winning percentage is first among active coaches.

“When we hired Mike eight years ago, we had one goal in mind, to win a championship,” Sienko said Thursday. “We still believe Mike is the best person to make that happen.”

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