Mike Thibault, General Manager & Head Coach
Mike Thibault was named the head coach/general manager of the team on December 18, 2012. Under his tutelage, Washington is coming off winning the organizations first WNBA championship.
During the 2019 season, the team displayed one of the greatest offenses in WNBA history, posting the WNBA’s highest offensive rating ever at 112.9. The Mystics made their second consecutive WNBA Finals appearance (2018-2019) and is coming off their best two-year stretch in franchise history, with the team going 48-20 over the past two seasons, and a franchise-best 26-8 record during the 2019 season.
Numerous players have continued to see growth under Thibault’s direction, with forward Elena Delle Donne earning her second Most Valuable Player honor last season and forward Emma Meesseman became the first reserve player in WNBA history to be named Finals Most Valuable Player.
Following the 2013 season, his first season with Washington, Thibault earned his third WNBA Coach of the Year recognition.
The winningest coach in WNBA history, Thibault has led Washington to the playoffs the past three consecutive seasons and to six total postseason appearances (2013-2015, 2017-2019. During the 2017 playoffs, Washington made it past the first round of the playoffs for the first time in 15 years.
Prior to joining the Mystics, Thibault was the head coach of the Connecticut Sun where he was twice named WNBA Coach of the Year (2006, 2008) and led the team to eight playoff appearances and two WNBA Finals. He set numerous milestones during his time with the Sun, including becoming the second coach in WNBA history to reach 200 wins, the third-fastest coach in league history to reach 100 wins (doing so in 159 games) and the fourth WNBA head coach to work at least 300 regular season games. From 2003 through 2008, Thibault and the Connecticut Sun won 127 regular season games, tying with the Detroit Shock for the most victories during that six-year span. The Sun were one of two teams to have six consecutive winning seasons.
Connecticut posted consecutive 26-8 records in 2005 and 2006, which are still the best regular season results for an Eastern Conference team. Thibault assisted in the blockbuster trade that sent Lindsay Whalen and the No. 2 pick in the 2010 WNBA Draft to Minnesota in exchange for second-year guard Renee Montgomery and
the No. 1 pick in 2010, which the team used to select Tina Charles. Under Thibault’s tutelage, Charles was named the league’s MVP in 2012.
Thibault joined the professional coaching ranks in 1978 as a scout for the Los Angeles Lakers and was quickly promoted to Director of Scouting and assistant coach in 1980.
During his tenure with the Lakers, the team won two NBA Championships. From 1982-1986, he served as the Director of Player Personnel and assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls when the organization selected Michael Jordan, Charles Oakley and traded for John Paxson.
Thibault served as the general manager and head coach of the Omaha Racers of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) where his team captured the league’s title in 1993. During his tenure with the Racers, the team made eight consecutive playoff appearances, and Thibault was named the 1993 Sportsman of the Year by Omaha broadcasters. He ranks sixth on the CBA all-time coaching victory list (236). Thibault also coached the Calgary 88’s of the World Basketball League (WBL) where he received Coach of the Year honors in 1988.Following his time in Omaha, Thibault was a scout for the Seattle Sonics and immediately prior to joining the Sun in 2003, he was an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks for four seasons. Thibault has had an extensive collaboration with USA Basketball. He most recently served as an assistant coach to the women’s National Team that won gold during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was on the coaching staff of the 2006 National Team that captured bronze during the World Championships, was the head coach of the men’s team that won the gold medal at the 1993 FIBA World Championship qualifying tournament and was also at the helm of the men’s team that won the silver medal at the 1995 Pan American Games.
Mike and his wife Nanci have been staunch supporters of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation since Mike’s days with the Omaha Racers. In 2007, the Thibaults were co-chairs of GREAT STRIDES, the primary fundraiser of the CF Foundation’s Connecticut Chapter.
The Thibaults have carried their support of the local community where they live and play by donating tickets to every Washington Mystics game to community organizations.
Mike and Nanci have two children. Eric is an assistant head coach with the Mystics while Carly is an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota.