Everybody has an opinion about these things, you know. And I have my own.
1). Geno Auriemma: He has experience working and winning in the summer, as he showed in London in August. Of course, he doesn’t need the money as much as those of us who benefit from keeping the WNBA in business, which his involvement would likely assure. But he knows where to eat at the Mohegan Sun. Who else is better equipped to coach UConn’s WNBA satellite program. And what a thrill it would be to coach against Fred Williams and Gary Kloppenburg.
2). Jeff Van Gundy: If Geno says no [he will if anyone has the guts to ask him] then the former Knicks and Rockets coach is my second choice. Van Gundy is a wonderful coach who greatly seems to respect women’s basketball. He seems to know a lot of basketball from what I hear from him on television, which places him far above many of the front office people in the WNBA. He is also the only person I have ever interviewed, that makes more money than me, who said ‘Thank you sir’ after he was done answering my questions. You’ve got to love that.
3). Van Chancellor: He coached four WNBA World Championship teams in Houston, back in the day. Then he went to LSU and took the Lady Tigers to a few Final Fours, back in day. But that doesn’t matter to me. All I want to do is listen to him answer questions. He’s like a glass of lemonade of a warm, humid day.
4). Jim Calhoun: If you don’t know why I would suggest this, you have never watched TMZ. Coach told Michael Kay on Center Stage this week that he wants to coach again. I mean, Paul Westhead, Henry Bibby, Michael Adams, Muggsy Bogues, Bill Laimbeer, Tree Rollins and Michael Cooper did it. There is a strong precedent here, I am sensing. Coach Calhoun has already seen Tina Charles, Kalana Greene, Asjha Jones and Renee Montgomery in the hallways at Gampel Pavilion. One thing though: His language might be a little too salty for the Sun fan base. But if I was Sun management, I would go for it.
5). Phil Jackson: Really, what does the guy have to do this summer? Is he that busy? Can’t he come to Connecticut for a few months, talk existentialism with the Wesleyan kids on his off-days and teach the triangle offense when he’s on the clock. Plus, he has already lived in Los Angeles, which like a casino offers fantasies that seldom come to pass, unless you land really good seats to see Carrie Underwood. He would feel right at home.
6). Jen Rizzotti: I know, she has a job that she likes. And she’s going to have a job she likes even better in a few years. But this would be good practice for her. She’ll get to coach grown-ups UConn players and Olympians, which will set her up quite nicely for the 2018 World Championship and 2020 Olympics. One thing: She needs to hire Doug Bruno as her assistant or the deal is off. I know people.
7). Mike Thibault: I just wanted to see if you were still paying attention.
8). Kelley Hardwick: You can never have TOO MUCH security. and if the league expands to Russia, she knows where the good hotel bars are.
9). Rebecca Lobo: She is gaining valuable experience coaching one of her children’s teams this year and no one knows more than the wife of a sportswriter that a second income is very important to family. She also knows how to ask questions, so she will anticipate them and offer snappy answers. She is kind and without a hint of pretension. And her experience mothering four children will also come in handy when the Sun plays in Washington or New York, which does not feed the press before games. She can make us all PB&Js or grilled cheese.
10). Angel McCoughty: She knows more about coaching than any coach in college, international play or the WNBA. And she can make a three as a possible player-coach.