Assistant coach James Wade’s short stint with Minnesota Lynx has come to an end.
The Chicago Sky announced Tuesday in a press conference that Wade has been named the organization’s new head coach and general manager for the upcoming season.
— Mitchell Hansen (@M_Hansen13) November 13, 2018
Wade, who is 43 years old, was hired by Lynx head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve prior to the team’s championship run in 2017. He spent two seasons in Minnesota prior to taking the job in the Windy City.
For the past two years, Wade has been on a three-person assistant crew under Reeve with the Lynx, alongside longtime Minnesota assistant coach Shelley Patterson and Walt Hopkins. Wade and Hopkins both arrived with the Lynx following the departure of Jim Petersen following the 2016 season.
Wade, who served as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Stars from 2012 to 2016, was primarily in charge of scouting efforts, talent evaluation and player development with the Lynx.
“From Minnesota to San Antonio, great players want to be coached and I’ve had the opportunity to coach some great players and grow with those great players,” Wade said in his introductory press conference. “There have been a lot of people that have been a part of this process. I’ll try to make everybody proud.”
Chi-Town got themselves a good one.
— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) November 13, 2018
Although his time in Minnesota was brief, multiple Lynx players and even Reeve gave Wade credit for helping Minnesota players take their games to the next level since his arrival with the Lynx. Most notably, Sylvia Fowles continuously gave Wade a lot of credit for helping her expand her game during her 2017 MVP campaign.
During the WNBA offseasons, Wade has also served as a scout and assistant coach for UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia, a team which has featured many high profile WNBA players over the years, including Minnesota’s Maya Moore.
Wade replaces Amber Stocks as head coach of Chicago, who was let go by the organization after two years at the helm of the Sky. Wade enters Chicago with a nice young core to work with, including players like Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Diamond DeShields, Gabby Williams and more. The Sky, who recently went through a fresh new rebrand, also hold the No. 4 pick in April’s 2019 WNBA Draft.
“I know what it takes to win. If I give (Chicago) a blueprint and say these are the things we need to win,” Wade said. “I’ll take what I’ve learned in these two, two and a half years (in Minnesota) and having that blueprint of winning, hopefully that’s what we will do.”
There has been no word from the Lynx as far as what they plan to do for a replacement for Wade on the Lynx assistant coaching staff. The organization could likely elevate Hopkins on the staff or look outside of the organization for an addition.