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(INDIANAPOLIS) – A Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer is the new coach of the Indiana Fever.

Marianne Stanley coached Old Dominion to the 1985 NCAA championship. She’s returning to the head coaching ranks after 16 years as an assistant, the last 10 with the Washington Mystics, where she was 26-41 as head coach in 2002 and 2003.

Stanley says she wouldn’t have sought another head coaching job unless it was the right opportunity. She says the Fever are that opportunity. She praises the quality of the organization and the team’s depth of young talent, led by 6’7″ center Teaira McCowan. McCowan ranked second in the league in rebounds per game as a rookie in 2019, but Stanley says she’s also well suited to the uptempo offense Stanley prefers. She also praises the Fever’s guard play. And she says the team impressed her over the final six weeks of the season, when the Fever bounced back from a 6-15 start to post a winning record in the season’s final 13 games. Stanley says that shows a team attitude that can be more important than individual stats.

The Fever fired coach Pokey Chatman after three straight losing seasons. They haven’t had a winning record or reached the playoffs since the final season of All-Star Tamika Catchings in 2016. Catchings is now the Fever’s vice president of basketball operations, and on Tuesday added the title of general manager, which Chatman held until her ouster in September.

Stanley won 415 games in 21 college seasons with Old Dominion, Penn, USC, Stanford, and the University of California. She reached the conference finals and won Coach of the Year in her first season coaching the Mystics before falling below .500 in her second and final year.

The Fever will have the third pick in the 2020 WNBA draft.

Fever coach Marianne Stanley (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)