LA Sparks hire Brian Agler as head coach

January 5, 2015

Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Sparks new management team today made one of its first major moves to reshape the franchise, naming veteran coach Brian Agler the 12th head coach in franchise history.

“I am excited about the possibilities with the Sparks,” said Agler.  “I appreciate the opportunity provided to me from Penny Toler, and of course the ownership group led by Magic Johnson, Mark Walter and Stan Kasten. I am joining a franchise that has a championship heritage, a world-renowned ownership group and an internationally known brand."

Agler joins the Sparks after an impressive seven-year stint leading the Seattle Storm. During his seven seasons as head coach and director of player personnel, he compiled a 136-102 record (.571) leading the team to six consecutive postseason berths (2008-2013).

“In what was a very extensive search to find a talented leader and winner to be our head coach, Brian stood out as the right person to lead the Sparks,” said Sparks Executive Vice President and general manager Penny Toler Toler.  “A proven winner, Brian’s experience and leadership will energize our offense and challenge our defense to return the Sparks to a championship caliber team.”

The all-time winningest coach in women’s professional basketball history, Agler is a veteran of the WNBA, bringing 11-years of head coaching experience and a WNBA title to the Sparks organization. He became the all-time winningest coach in 2012 when he earned his 212th career win (ABL and WNBA) to move past Van Chancellor (211), former coach of the Houston Comets. Following the 2014 WNBA season, he stands at 262 career wins (78 ABL, 184 WNBA).

“The Sparks roster is comprised of MVP’s, Olympians and All-Stars who have won championships," said Agler.  "WNBA titles do not come easy, but as Sparks head coach I am confident that together with our talented roster we will position ourselves to compete for another WNBA championship for the city of Los Angeles.”

In 2010, Agler led the Storm to its second championship title in team history with an impressive 28-6 regular season record and undefeated 7-0 run through the postseason. His championship and record-setting season earned him the 2010 WNBA Coach of the Year award.

Agler added,  “I truly appreciate my days, friendships and experiences with the Seattle Storm. I am leaving a first class organization and wish the Storm and its fans all the best.”

His WNBA experience also includes serving as head coach of the Minnesota Lynx (1999-2002) and two stints as an assistant coach with the then San Antonio Silver Stars (2005-2007) and the Phoenix Mercury (2004).

Prior to the WNBA, Agler served as head coach of the Columbus Quest of the ABL (1996-1999) where he compiled an 82-22 overall record. During his first two seasons with the Quest, he guided the team to back-to-back ABL championships (1997,1998) and was named the ABL Coach of the Year following his first title run.

His coaching experience includes 15 seasons coaching among the collegiate ranks, including 13 seasons as a head coach. From 1993-96 he served as the head women’s basketball coach at Kansas State. In 1988, Agler took over as the head women’s coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In five seasons at UMKC, Agler was 85-54 and took the Kangaroos from a 9-16 record in 1988-89 to four straight winning seasons with 17 or more victories. Under his direction, UMKC led the NCAA in scoring defense three consecutive seasons from 1990-93. In 1991, UMKC set an NCAA team record, allowing 51.8 points per game.

By Staff of and news services

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