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Liberty Part Ways With Coach Walt Hopkins After Two Seasons

The Liberty have parted ways with coach Walt Hopkins after two seasons, the team announced Monday.

New York said in a tweet it has “has initiated a search for a new head coach, following a decision by Walt Hopkins and management to part ways.

“We thank Walt for his spirit and commitment over the last two seasons, in which the team developed three WNBA All-Rookie Team members and Rookie of the Year.”

Hopkins was hired in January 2020 as the team’s coach. He had previously been an assistant coach with the Lynx since ’17.

In two seasons with New York, Hopkins amassed a 14–40 record. 

In his first season, however, the team was largely depleted due to multiple significant injuries. Last season, the Liberty went 12–20 and lost to the Mercury in the first round of the WNBA playoffs. 

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It marked New York's first playoff appearance since 2017.

"I think we’ve got the vast majority of pieces in place right now,” Hopkins said at his exit press conference this fall. “The potential of this group is tremendous. It’s not just the individual growth but it’s also the collective growth of how they play with one another within this system.

"They come in with that knowledge now.”

New York has a number of key players set to return next season, including 2021 WNBA All-Star Betnijah Laney, ’19 Defensive Player of the Year Natasha Howard, ’21 Rookie of the Year Michaela Onyenwere and ’20 No. 1 pick Sabrina Ionescu.

New York also holds the No. 5 pick in the 2022 WNBA draft.

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