Exclusive: Fox Weighs In On Sky Coaching Search

By Chris Kwiecinski

 

 

The Chicago Sky may have surprised some by firing their head coach after only two seasons, but the franchise will take its time finding it’s sixth coach in franchise history, according to their team president.

The Sky fired head coach and general manager Amber Stocks on Friday, and Sky President and CEO Adam Fox said Friday afternoon the ownership group, led by majority owner Michael Alter and main investor John Rogers, made the call to relieve Stocks of her duties.

“We have to look at record,” Fox said. “We had a lot of conversation at the end of the year and felt that a change was going to be necessary going into 2019.”

Stocks had a 25-43 record over the course of two seasons, taking over a franchise that was four years removed from a WNBA Finals appearance in 2014.

Fox said the coaching search would dive into every possible avenue, from Euroleague, to the WNBA ranks or a college coach. He did not have a specific timeline for when the team wants to have a coaching hire in place, either.

The last two coaches the Sky hired, Stocks and Pokey Chatman, came from WNBA and Euroleague sidelines, respectively.

Fox did stress a keen basketball acumen, player relatability, and the ability to build a team are the characteristics he’ll be looking for in the next head coach. He did say Alter and Rogers will have the final say on the next head coach, as well.

“Being able to work with people is important,” Fox said. “It does mean everybody understands why everybody’s doing what they do. If everybody’s tied into the why, I think that’ll be a basis for good communication.”

The Sky went into 2018 as the third youngest team in the league, and Alter, in an earlier interview said Diamond DeShields is a player he identified as one of the most likely players to be the next Sky superstar.

Fox said the possibility of including player input in the team’s coaching search exists.

“Some of that will be based on availability,” Fox said. “Some of it is proximity, where will the players be at the different times.”

“Whether it’s in an interview process or a advisory process, I think the organization would have to be open to that.”

The coaching search will start immediately for the Sky, and Fox stressed multiple occasions that time will not factor into the search.

“As of right now, we have the mindset to be very open and to look in as many places as we can to find the best places to interview,” Fox said. “It’s probably better to be right than fast.”