The WNBA's Atlanta Dream named former Penn State All-American Tanisha Wright as its head coach Tuesday. Wright makes her WNBA head-coaching debut with more than 16 years of professional experience as a player and coach, most recently as an assistant with the Las Vegas Aces.
"It’s an honor to be chosen as head coach for the Atlanta Dream, and I’m excited to play a role in building a successful organization centered around the player experience," Wright said in a statement. "I have been part of championship teams and understand what it takes to win in this league. I look forward to bringing my talents to this franchise and helping the Dream achieve success."
Wright was a three-time Big Ten defensive player of the year at Penn State and led the conference in scoring (19.3 ppg) in 2004-05. She played on two Big Ten champions and helped the 2003-04 team to the NCAA East Regional final, where it fell to top-seeded Connecticut. In 2005, Wright became the first Penn State player selected in the first round of the WNBA draft.
Wright played 10 seasons with the Seattle Storm, helping the team to nine consecutive playoff appearances and the 2010 WNBA title. She was named to the WNBA's all-defensive first team four times. Wright also played for Minnesota and New York before retiring as a player in 2019.
“Known for her defensive mindset, emotional intelligence, and grit, we are beyond thrilled that Tanisha Wright is joining the Atlanta Dream," Larry Gottesdiener, owner and chairman of the Atlanta Dream, said in a statement. "Tanisha demonstrates a rare depth of character that is inspiring, and we can’t wait to see the positive impact she will have on this team."
"Words cannot express how excited I am for a rising talent like Tanisha to join the Dream,” said Renee Montgomery, Atlanta Dream owner and vice president. "Tanisha is widely respected across the league, and as with all great leaders, she will set a strong example for our team."