NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 19, 2016 – The New York Liberty has finalized its coaching and training staff for the 2016 season, team President Isiah Thomas announced today. Katie Smith has been promoted to associate head coach and Herb Williams returns as an assistant coach. Teresa Weatherspoon will now oversee the Liberty Basketball Academy in addition to her duties as the Director of Player Development, and Rosemary Ragle has been named Head Athletic Trainer.
“Led by head coach Bill Laimbeer, I believe we have put together the best staff in the WNBA, one that puts our players in the position to be successful every time they take the floor,” said Thomas. “Katie Smith has been critical to our team’s success and has been elevated to associate head coach, while Teresa Weatherspoon will expand the way she uses her unparalleled expertise to positively impact youth and our community. Rosemary Ragle has worked with many of the best players in the game for nearly two decades, and understands her contributions to a championship culture.”
Katie Smith returns for her third season on the Liberty sideline, having been an assistant coach with the franchise since 2014. She has been promoted to associate head coach after helping guide the team to a franchise record 23-11 mark in 2015, with the Liberty finishing first in the Eastern Conference for the first time since 2002.
A 15-year veteran of the WNBA, Smith retired following the 2013 season as the all-time leading scorer in women’s professional basketball history, scoring 7,885 points while playing in the ABL and WNBA. She won a pair of WNBA titles with the Detroit Shock (2006, 2008) and is a three-time Olympic Gold Medalist (2000, 2004, 2008).
Rosemary Ragle will begin working with the Liberty after serving as the Head Athletic Trainer for the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team since 1999. With Connecticut, Ragle oversaw all elements of player care for 18 seasons, a span that saw the Huskies win nine NCAA Division I national championships. She was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. While at Connecticut she worked with three current members of the Liberty roster – Swin Cash, Tina Charles, and Kiah Stokes.
Weatherspoon is in her second season as the Director of Player Development with the Liberty, and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer will now also oversee all elements of the Liberty Basketball Academy, including youth instructional programs and camps. With the Liberty, Weatherspoon spends time conducting individual workouts with Liberty players, focusing on skill development, fitness, and conditioning.
Williams returns for his second season as an assistant coach with the Liberty. An 18-year veteran of the NBA, he spent 11 seasons on the coaching staff of the New York Knicks (2003-14), twice serving as interim head coach (2004, 2005). As a player, Williams finished his career with 11,944 points, 6,509 rebounds, and 1,605 blocked shots, and has 35 years of experience in professional basketball as a player and coach.