Storm look for new coach after Agler leaves for Sparks

The Seattle Storm are in the market for a new coach.

With Brian Agler's departure for the Los Angeles Sparks on Monday, the Storm started an immediate search to replace him.

''In terms of a timeline this is top priority, we will move as swiftly as we can and as thoroughly as we can,'' Seattle president Alisha Valavanis said. ''We're very aware, acutely aware of free agency starting. We're going to be thorough and find the right fit as soon as we can get that done.''

Valavanis, who added the responsibilities of general manager for the Storm on Monday, confirmed that associate head coach Jenny Boucek is a candidate for the job.

''We do have a considerable history with her and are aware of Jenny's work with the Storm,'' she said. ''She's definitely in consideration, but we're being mindful around the magnitude of this position.''

Finding a new coach is only one of the Storm's issues as they try and rebuild. A key question for the team moving forward will be if Lauren Jackson will return. She's missed the past few seasons because of injuries.

''We're in communication with Lauren and evaluating and keeping the dialogue open with her and will continue to be throuhgout this offseason,'' Valavanis said. ''At this time we know she's back on the court and we're excited for her. We'll continue this conversation leading up to the season.''

Whether Jackson returns or not, the Storm do have a bright future with the top pick in this year's draft.

''We have a short list for the No. 1 pick and we're really excited for the next phase for Seattle Storm,'' Valavanis said.

Seattle had been one of the most stable franchises in the league over the past decade. The Storm reached the playoffs every year since 2003 until this past season while winning two WNBA titles. Agler had been a big reason for the team's success since he took over as coach in 2008.

''I had a great desire to stay in Seattle and I know that all franchises are in different stages,'' Agler said. ''Seattle's in a rebuilding mode right now and I wanted to see it through. But sometimes things don't work out that way, sometimes it's just time.''

Agler had nothing but good things to say about his time in Seattle.

''I know that I'm leaving a really tremendous organization from top to bottom from ownership to front office to players and fans,'' the 56-year-old coach said. ''I have a lot of great friendships there.''

He said he'll miss his players and it was tough telling them of his move.

''It was difficult telling Sue (Bird) and Lauren ... as they've been part of the foundation since I've been there,'' Agler said. ''But also I'm going to really miss the Storm crazies. They are phenomenal and I've never worked in an environment where the fans have been so passionate. They really love their sports teams.''

Agler will get a chance to see his former team early in the season as the Storm host the Sparks in the season opener on June 6. The two teams play again a week later in Los Angeles.

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