Winningest Coach in WNBA History Will Continue to Lead Team
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Mystics announced today that Head Coach and General Manager Mike Thibault has signed a multi-year contract extension. Thibault was first named the team’s head coach and general manager on Dec. 18, 2012.
“After our last two years with the pandemic and injuries, I am looking forward to getting back to a full, healthy team,” said Thibault. “I am excited for the offseason and what we can do to reset our team.”
During his tenure at the helm of the Mystics basketball operations, Thibault has led the Mystics to winning the organization’s first WNBA Championship (2019), two WNBA Finals appearances (2018, 2019) and seven total postseason appearances (2013-2015, 2017-2020).
Since 2012, Thibault has restructured the Mystics roster through the draft, trade and free agency. In 2017, Thibault had one of the most impactful off seasons in league history when he acquired Olympian and WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne. Delle Donne won her first WNBA Championship and her second Most Valuable Player award in 2019, after becoming the only player in league history to join the exclusive 50/40/90 club. In 2020, Thibault would once again acquire MVP talent, trading for 2012 WNBA MVP Tina Charles. Charles broke numerous WNBA records throughout the 2021 season and was named to her ninth All-WNBA team after leading the league in scoring with a career-best 23.4 points per game, the sixth-best points per game average in league history.
Placing an emphasis on development and high character, numerous players have continued to see growth under Thibault’s direction. Guard Ariel Atkins had a career-best year in 2021, recording career-highs in points and assists. She was also named to her fourth consecutive All-Defensive team and the 2020 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team. Natasha Cloud averaged a career-high 6.4 assists per game (ranked second in apg) during the 2021 season, forward Emma Meesseman became the first reserve player in WNBA history to be named Finals Most Valuable Player (2019) and Myisha Hines-Allen was named to the 2020 All-WNBA Second Team.
Thibault, the WNBA’s all-time winningest coach recorded his 350th career win on June 17, 2021, vs. Atlanta and has been named WNBA Coach of the Year three times (2006, 2008, 2013).
Associate head coach Eric Thibault, assistant coach LaToya Sanders and assistant general manager Maria Giovannetti have all signed extensions as well.