Mohegan – Mike Thibault was quite philosophical early Tuesday afternoon in the wake of his dismissal as coach of the Connecticut Sun.
“I’ve had a great 10 years. I’ve loved it here,” Thibault said. “The fans have treated me great. Everyone at Mohegan has as well.”
Thibault, the only coach in the history of the franchise, was in the option year of a four-year contract.
Assistant coaches Bernadette Mattox and Scott Hawk were also released.
Thibault led the Sun to eight playoff appearances, four regular season Eastern Conference titles and two trips to the WNBA Finals. He won more than 200 games and would have eclipsed Van Chancellor for most career wins in WNBA history.
“It’s their money. They write the checks,” Thibault said. “They get to do what they want. It’s a business. I understand that. I disagree that a different voice will change things. But it’s their decision to make.”
The team issued the following press release:
“The decision to let Mike go was difficult based on our friendship and working relationship,” Connecticut Sun Vice President and General Manager Chris Sienko said. “Mike has had much success here in Connecticut over the past 10 seasons. However, we felt it was time for a new voice and new direction for our players and our fans as we continue to try to capture that first, elusive title. We wish Mike and his family nothing but success and know our paths will cross again in the future.”
“After much thought and consideration we have decided to make a coaching change with the hopes that this will allow us to achieve our ultimate goal of bringing a WNBA championship to Connecticut,” said team CEO Mitchell Etess. “We have the ultimate respect and appreciation for everything coach Thibault has done here, and he has played a huge part in establishing the Connecticut Sun as the model franchise in the league. However, our ultimate goal is the championship, and this change is made in with an eye to accomplishing just that.”
The Sun will begin formerly interviewing candidates immediately. However, there is no set timetable to name Thibault's replacement.