Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve signed a contract extension and added the title of General Manager of the four-time WNBA Champions, the team announced Thursday.
Reeve has led the Lynx to four WNBA titles in eight seasons. She was recently named the Star Tribune's Sportsperson of the Year.
The Lynx become the sixth WNBA franchise with dual coach-GM responsibilities.
Roger Griffith, the team’s long-time CEO and GM steps away from running the Lynx to become more involved in the business aspects of all three franchises currently under owner Glen Taylor’s control — the Timberwolves, the Iowa Wolves and Lynx.
In a day-to-day sense, Reeve’s role won’t change. Reeve, who came to Minnesota to coach the Lynx in 2010, was always the one involved in preparing for the draft, pursuing and negotiating with free agents and constructing the roster for a team that won its fourth WNBA title in seven seasons last fall. The dynamic with Griffith was always collaborative.
“He was a part of every process,” Reeve said. “He was the voice, oftentimes, in trade calls with the league.”
But it was Reeve, always the preparer, who plotted the team’s course.
“Cheryl has demonstrated her ability to lead in guiding us to four WNBA championships,” Taylor said in a release. “And I have complete confidence in her ability to continue to guide our organization. The 2018 season is shaping up to be our most exciting one in Lynx history, as we host the WNBA All-Star Game at Target Center and return the core of our championship team to make a run at a fifth title.”
Reeve’s new roles was part of a number of moves made by the Lynx. They include:
--Promoting Clare Duwelius from head of the team’s basketball operations to assistant General Manager.
--Inking assistants Shelley Patterson and Walt Hopkins to contract extensions; assistant James Wade will get an extension soon, too.
Since Reeve was hired in 2010, the Lynx have won 195 games, the most prolific eight-year run in league history. The Lynx have won at least 25 games in six straight seasons. Reeve’s .715 winning percentage is best in league history.
She joins Amber Stocks (Chicago), Curt Miller (Connecticut), Pokey Chatman (Indiana), Bill Laimbeer (Las Vegas) and Mike Thibault (Washington) as the sixth person with head coach and GM titles in the league.
Perhaps the biggest promotion, both in name and in fact, was Duwelius’. She just finished her fourth season as manager of basketball operations, responsible for things like organizing travel and scheduling practices at home and on the road.
She will continue to do all of that, and more.
“She has evolved from the beginning,” Reeve said. Duwelius will get involved in communicating with agents and completing transactions. She will also begin to work on evaluating players and assisting in roster formulation.
Patterson and Hopkins will be around for a while, too. Patterson will be entering her eighth season as Reeve’s assistant next season. Wade and Hopkins joined the team last summer.
So, going forward, Reeve will continue to do what she’s always done.
“Nothing has really changed,” she said. “It’s just that now I’ll get the complete blame if something goes wrong.”