Wings Relieve Williams Of Coaching Duties
By Dorothy Gentry
After dropping their eighth consecutive game Sunday and still desperately clinging to the final WNBA playoff spot, the Dallas Wings have fired head coach Fred Williams.
As has been reported on and noted this season by WNBAInsidr.com, there appears to have been a tense dynamic and relationship between CEO and partner Greg Bibb and Williams with a lot of pressure on Williams to get the team into the playoffs.
The Wings are home to four-time All-Star guard Skylar Diggins-Smith and league MVP candidate Liz Cambage, who has set multiple WNBA records this year, including making history with the most points scored in a game (53). The team also boasts a very deep and talented bench, including last year’s Rookie of the Year Allisha Gray, All-Star Glory Johnson and rookie Azura Stevens.
The Wings rose as high as No. 3 in the standings in early July behind a franchise-best five-game winning streak. Then the free fall began. Injuries also plagued the team with Diggins-Smith missing two consecutive games and Cambage missing the last two games as well. With Sunday’s loss, the Wings have have not won a game since July 19.
They are presently eighth in the standings with only one game separating them and the Las Vegas Aces. Both teams have three games left and will meet each other in Dallas on Friday. The full statement from the Wings is below:
The Dallas Wings announces this evening that Fred Williams has been relieved of his duties effective immediately. Assistant Coach Taj McWilliams-Franklin has been named interim head coach for the remainder of the season, and the organization will conduct a full search for a permanent head coach immediately following the conclusion of the 2018 campaign.
Taj McWilliams-Franklin was named assistant coach for the Dallas Wings in 2017 and has served in that role for the past two seasons. She previously served as assistant coach for the New York Liberty in 2013 and head coach at Post University in 2015.
Erin Phillips and Travis Charles will serve as assistant coaches for the remainder of the year.
“Following today’s game, I made the decision to change direction in regards to our head coaching position,” stated President and CEO Greg Bibb. “I felt this move was necessary. The season has not met our expectations. I have asked Taj to serve as our interim head coach and I have the upmost confidence that she and our staff will do everything possible to put us in the best position to win. I wish Fred the best moving forward. Our focus remains on qualifying for the playoffs and ultimately competing for a WNBA championship.”