The Storm announced Monday that Head Coach and General Manager Brian Agler will be leaving Seattle to join the Los Angeles Sparks. The search for Seattle’s next head coach is underway.
In addition to Agler’s departure, Seattle has announced the promotion of Alisha Valavanis to president and general manager. She assumes all general manager responsibilities, including player personnel decisions, salary cap management and contract negotiations.
“Brian has been an important and valued member of the Storm family for the past seven years and we wish him all the best moving forward,” said Lisa Brummel, a member of the Force 10 Hoops ownership group. “Alisha has come up to speed very quickly on our rebuilding plans for the Storm. Her blend of business acumen and basketball expertise will be invaluable as we look to rebuild a new and exciting brand of basketball in Seattle.”
Valavanis’ basketball resume includes over 10 years of player development and talent evaluation. In 2002, as the first assistant coach with Chico State, she led recruiting for a program that qualified for four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Division II Final Four appearance. In 2006, she joined the women’s basketball program at the University of the Pacific as an assistant coach and in 2008, was elevated to associate head coach. Valavanis also served as a WNBA scout.
“I look forward to working closely with Force 10 Hoops and our coaching staff on shifting the direction of this team,” said Valavanis. “We are committed to hiring a talented and passionate head coach who will help us return championship-caliber basketball to Seattle. We have an incredible opportunity to lay the foundation with the number one pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft.”
Agler spent seven seasons at the helm of the Storm organization, leading the 2010 team to an undefeated home record and a 7-0 run through the WNBA playoffs en route to the franchise’s second title. He leaves Seattle with a 136-102 (.571) overall clip, notching an 88-30 (.745) record in games at KeyArena.
Seattle opens the 2015 season on June 6 vs. Los Angeles. Storm 360 Memberships, starting at $179, are still available by calling (206) 217-WNBA (9622) or by visiting StormBasketball.com.