When the Washington Mystics topped the Los Angeles Sparks 83-74 Saturday night in California, Washington coach Mike Thibault became the first person in WNBA history to win 300 games as a head coach.
After coaching the Connecticut Sun for 10 seasons, Thibault became the winningest head coach in league history in 2013, his first year with the Mystics. Now in his sixth season in Washington, Thibault’s Mystics moved to 12-6 Saturday.
“It just means I’ve been at it for a long time,” Thibault said. “It’s a nice number, but the only number I care about is that we’re the last team standing.”
The next-closest coach behind Thibault on the all-time wins list is also still active in the league: Los Angeles coach Brian Agler.
After the Mystics trailed 35-30 at halftime, they blew past the Sparks in the second half. Kristi Toliver led the Mystics with 20 points.
Not unlike Barry Trotz before last season’s Stanley Cup, the main thing missing from Thibault’s impressive coaching resume is a league title. His teams are 23-27 in the playoffs and he hasn’t coached a team to a WNBA Finals since 2005.
Thibault praised the current competitiveness of the WNBA.
“The parity in our league is as good as it’s ever been,” Thibault said. “There’s only one team that’s in total rebuild in Indiana, and everybody else can make the playoffs.”
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