Sky Let Go Of Stocks, Begin Search For New Coach
By Chris Kwiecinski
The Chicago Sky became the second team to fire their head coach this WNBA season as the team announced Friday afternoon it has let go of head coach and general manager Amber Stocks.
Stocks, who had a 25-43 career record as Chicago’s head coach, finished her second season at the helm of the Sky with a 13-21 record in 2018. The release from the Sky said the franchise would search for its sixth coach in franchise history immediately.
“The entire organization would like to thank Amber for the hard work and dedication that she has given to the Chicago Sky for the past two seasons,” Sky President and CEO Adam Fox said in a statement. “At this time, we felt a change was necessary for the 2019 season. We wish her nothing but the best in the future.”
Stocks joins former Wings coach Fred Williams as WNBA coaches who were fired this season. Williams was fired in the middle of the playoff hunt with three games to go in the regular season.
On paper, the Sky’s move does look somewhat hasty. Stocks was tasked with rebuilding the Sky after the team traded disgruntled star Elena Delle Donne and fired head coach Pokey Chatman. That duo led the Sky to the WNBA Finals in 2014.
As the team’s general manager, Stocks put young pieces in place with rookies Gabby Williams and Diamond DeShields in 2018. The Sky were the third-youngest team in the WNBA with an average age of 25.9 years old.
“I’m just a person who sees fewer challenges in life than opportunities, and with this roster, there’s a lot of opportunities to coach,” Stocks said on August 19. “As a coach who loves to teach, there’s a lot of opportunities to teach things the players and then the players teach me as well. We all learn from each other.”
In comparison, Indiana head coach Pokey Chatman, who took over the Fever after being fired from the Sky after the 2016 season, has recorded six- and nine-win seasons in her two years with the Fever.
Currently, there’s no indication of what direction the Sky will take in hiring their new coach. The Sky’s last two hires came from the Euroleague ranks, Chatman, and the WNBA assistant ranks, Stocks.