Photo Credit: Alchetron
After managing to win only one game since the All Star break, the Seattle Storm have fired head coach Jenny Boucek after two and half years in the position. Assistant coach Gary Kloppenburg has been named as the interm-head coach to finish out the season.
The decision to fire Boucek doesn’t come as a surprise as Seattle has struggled to win games over the last month and a half, while falling out of the playoff positioning; the Storm are in a three-way tie for the 8th, but they lose out on the tiebreaker and would be in the lottery if the season ended today. There has been some concern about the apparent backward step taken in the development of Seattle’s young core during this season, and that led to speculation that Boucek might be fired.
General manager Alisha Valvanis did little to quell this speculation during an interview with Summit Hoops back in July. “I would say that I am working closely with our head coach on how we can recalibrate, how we can do everything possible to make a playoff run,” Valvanis told The Summitt in a phone interview Thursday, when asked point-blank if she would commit to Boucek remaining the coach for the duration of the 2017 season. “That’s how I feel, and that’s where we’re at. I’m actively working with Jenny to see if we can make any adjustments to calibrate this for a playoff run, which has been set as a very clear goal.”
With the team winning only one game since the All Star break, and their playoff odds rapidly dwindling, it became clear that a change needed to be made to try and secure that last playoff spot with only eight games remaining in the season. That’s going to be a difficult task for the Storm going forward, especially since the tiebreakers currently favor the Chicago Sky.