A legendary basketball coach with strong Indiana ties is retiring. The Indiana Fever basketball team has announced Head Coach Lin Dunn will end her coaching career after this season. Dunn also spent nine seasons as head coach of the Purdue University women's basketball team. May 6, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Scheduled for induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame on June 14, Indiana Fever Head Coach Lin Dunn has announced that the 2014 WNBA season will be her final year in coaching. She will remain with the franchise in 2015 as a senior basketball advisor.
Known as much for her colorful personality and southern accent, Dunn has become an institution in the world of women’s basketball and a champion for equality in women’s sports and women’s causes. Prior to her WBHOF induction, the Fever will dedicate its June 11 game to Dunn and her induction. Fittingly, that game that game is against the Seattle Storm, for whom Dunn was the first coach and executive (2000-03). Equally as fitting, that game has been tabbed as Diversity Night.
“It's time for a new challenge,” said Dunn, remarking on a career moving toward consulting and advising. “I have truly treasured my time with Pacers Sports & Entertainment. I am thrilled that we won the 2012 WNBA championship for our franchise and our fans, and I appreciate the opportunity I’ve had to work with Kelly Krauskopf, Jim Morris and our owner, Herb Simon. I plan to move into a consulting role with the Fever and continue to mentor and advise pro and college coaches.”
“Lin and I have been talking about her transition for a while now,” said Krauskopf, the Fever’s president and general manager. “I am happy that she will remain with us next season, as we transition the sideline leadership of this team.
“Clearly Lin’s impact on our franchise has been monumental. Not only as the winningest coach in our history and leading us to a title in 2012, but also her willingness to help us in the community. I have thoroughly enjoyed working side by side with her from the day I hired her. No one is going to out-work Lin Dunn. Her energy and passion are contagious. But I suppose after 44 years of coaching she deserves a break now. Her legacy of leadership will be firmly planted in our team’s history.”
Having patrolled the sidelines for 1,117 pro and college games prior to this season, Dunn enters her seventh year as head coach of the Fever. It is her 38th season as a pro or college head basketball coach. Overall, it is her 44th year of coaching since accepting her first job as P.E. instructor, cheerleading coordinator and coach of women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and women’s tennis teams at Austin Peay State University in 1970.
She has been a driving force behind equality for women and women’s athletics, and she played a key role in seeking the addition of women’s basketball at her alma mater, Tennessee-Martin. Coincidentally, one of UTM’s earliest recruits was another hall of famer, Pat Summitt.
Coaching into her fifth decade, her career preceded the passing of Title IX legislation in the 1970s and includes trips to the Olympics, the NCAA Final Four and the WNBA Finals.
Dunn is one of women’s basketball’s most highly respected matriarchs, boasting a 664-453 (.594) overall record in 37 previous years as head coach. She left four university programs – Austin Peay, Miami and Purdue – as the winningest coach in program history. In nine seasons at Purdue, she led the Boilermakers to three Big Ten conference titles, seven NCAA Tournaments, four Sweet Sixteen appearances and a trip to the Final Four in 1994.
With an influential voice in the college game, she was the president of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association during its formative stages in 1984.
She won 63 percent of her games during 25 seasons as a college coach (447-257, .635), but she transitioned to the ABL in 1997 and was that league’s coach of the year in 1998. She transitioned to the WNBA in 2000 where she was the first coach and GM of the fledgling Storm. She guided Seattle to its first playoff appearance and the draft selection of franchise stars Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird.
Dunn arrived with the Fever in 2003 as a scout, then assistant coach and head coach since 2008. The fourth head coach in franchise history, Dunn has guided Indiana to the playoffs in each of her six seasons, including four visits to the East Finals, a pair of trips to the WNBA Finals and a WNBA title in 2012. As she embarks on her final season, she already is the winningest coach in club history (119-85, .583) and ranks seventh in wins in WNBA history (152-148, .507).
Her career also includes a significant time of influence with USA Basketball. She served on USA Basketball staffs for the 1992 Olympics and 1990 gold-medal winning World Championship and Goodwill Games teams. She was head coach of the 1995 bronze-medal winning USA Jones Cup team, and also served for eight years on the USA Basketball Team selection committee.
A native of Dresden, Tenn., she was named to both the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. Already a member of halls of fame at Austin Peay and Miami, she received induction into her alma mater’s athletics hall of fame at UT-Martin later in 2010, and the Purdue Athletics Hall of Fame in April 2012. Last March, she was named an ACC Legend for years of influence at Miami.
A WNBA playoff participant in nine straight seasons and 10 times since 2002, the Indiana Fever has reached at least the conference finals six times in the past nine years – including WNBA Finals appearances in 2009 and 2012. Just two seasons ago, Indiana capped the 2012 campaign as the champions of women’s basketball, beating the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA Finals. The Fever begins its 2014 season at Chicago on Friday, May 16, and hosts a home opener Saturday, May 17 against Atlanta (7:00 p.m.). For season ticket information, visit FeverBasketball.com or call (317) 917-2528.
Source: Indiana Fever