ATLANTA -- Fred Williams will start the next WNBA season the way he finished the previous one: as the head coach and general manager of the Atlanta Dream. Williams, who engineered a mid-season turnaround after being promoted last August, signed a new contract today to remain in his role.
"The Dream finished strong last year under Coach Williams, and we're confident he is the person to give the team an even brighter future in 2013," said Dream CEO Ashley Preisinger. "Dream games are an exciting, affordable place for socializing, family fun and business networking, and the heart of it all is watching elite basketball. That starts with the coach."
When Williams was promoted from assistant coach to head coach and general manager in August, the 2011 Eastern Conference champions were sitting at a 12-12. Williams led the team to a 7-3 record over the final 10 regular-season games, winning seven of eight games during one stretch. Atlanta qualified for the 2012 WNBA Playoffs for the fourth consecutive year under his guidance before falling to eventual WNBA champion Indiana in the conference semifinals.
"I'm thrilled to continue the winning tradition here and take it to the next level," said Williams. "When you come to a Dream game, you know what you're getting: an energetic atmosphere and competitive, high-level basketball played with intensity every night. It's going to be an exciting season as we build toward our ultimate goal of winning a championship."
Williams, who has been part of the Dream staff since its first season in 2008, has three decades of coaching and scouting experience. He has extensive experience in the WNBA, having previously served as head coach of the Utah Starzz for three seasons from 1999-2001, and as an assistant coach with the Charlotte Sting for two seasons from 2003-04.
Williams' head coaching experience also includes stints with the San Diego Siege of the NWBL, who he led to the 2006 Finals en route to earning NWBL Coach of the Year honors, and at USC, where he was head coach for two seasons from 1995-97. He also served as associate head coach under Cheryl Miller at USC and was part of the staff of the 1984 USC team that won an NCAA Championship.
Per team policy, further details of the contract were not disclosed
The two-time Eastern Conference champion Atlanta Dream will compete in its sixth season in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) in 2013. The Dream qualified for the playoffs in each of the past four seasons, including back-to-back conference titles in 2010 and 2011. Season tickets for the 2013 season are now available and can be purchased by calling (877) 977-7729 or visiting www.AtlantaDream.net.