Originally created 07/17/02

Minnesota Lynx coach resigns

MINNEAPOLIS -- Brian Agler, the only head coach the Minnesota Lynx have ever had, resigned Tuesday but will remain as the WNBA franchise's general manager.

The Lynx promoted assistant coach Heidi VanDerveer to replace Agler, who had a 48-67 record in three-plus seasons.

It's VanDerveer's second stint as a WNBA head coach. She coached the Sacramento Monarchs for 13 games at the end of the league's inaugural season in 1997, and held the position through 1998. The team posted a 13-30 record during that time.

"It's a tough situation for everyone," VanDerveer said in a statement. "Our goal now is to be professionals, compete at the highest level and represent our franchise accordingly."

For Agler, the Lynx represent his first major failure as a coach. He came to Minnesota from the defunct American Basketball League, fresh off consecutive league championships with the Columbus Quest. In his two-plus seasons with Columbus, Agler compiled an 82-22 record. He also has a 248-135 record in 13 seasons as a college coach with schools including Kansas State and Missouri-Kansas City.

But his tenure with the Lynx has been rough, especially this year.

The Lynx, who have yet to have a winning season, limped into the All-Star break on a five-game losing streak and with a 6-13 record. They have lost eight consecutive road games.

Agler also drew criticism when the team traded guard Betty Lennox to the Miami Sol last month for Tamara Moore. Lennox publicly said she felt betrayed by Agler, who helped her through a tough offseason filled with rehabilitation for her injured hip. At a game against the Portland Fire later that month, an angry fan at center court displayed a large sign that read: "Trade Brian."

"After many discussions with (owner) Glen Taylor over the WNBA All-Star break, we reached a decision that it was in the team's best interest to make a coaching change," Chief Operating Officer Roger Griffith said. "We appreciate the efforts and dedication Brian has put into this job in his three-plus years as coach. We believe he can make a positive contribution to this organization in the role of general manager."

VanDerveer, sister of Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer, spent four years at Eastern Washington University before joining the WNBA. She also served as assistant coach at South Carolina for six seasons and graduated from the College of Charleston in 1986.


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