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- Basketball player
Sandy Brondello was always going to be in demand this offseason. After surprisingly parting ways with the Phoenix Mercury in December, Brondello will reportedly be hired as the next coach of the New York Liberty, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.
Brondello joins the team fresh off a finals appearance with the Mercury. Phoenix lost to the Chicago Sky in the finals in October. The Mercury parted ways with Brondello two months later, ending a productive eight-year partnership.
Brondello led the Mercury to a WNBA championship in 2014, her first season with the team. She went on to post a 150-108 record with the team. The Mercury never missed the playoffs under Brondello, who has a 24-21 record in the postseason.
In addition to her work in the WNBA, Brondello also coaches the Australian women's basketball team. She also spent five seasons in the WNBA as a player, making the All-Star team in 1999.
Sandy Brondello wanted to join Liberty
The Mercury classified Brondello's departure as mutual, but she told a different story. Brondello told ESPN management wanted a "new voice" to lead the Mercury. "If you call that mutual, that's what it was," Brondello said.
Brondello expressed a desire to remain in the WNBA, and pointed to the Liberty as a "great situation." The team has a promising core with former No. 1 overall draft pick Sabrina Ionescu, 2021 All-Star Betnijah Laney and 22-year-old forward Michaela Onyenwere.
The Liberty also hold the No. 5 overall pick in the 2022 WNBA draft, giving Brondello an opportunity to add even more talent to the squad.
The Liberty could use Brondello's steady hand. The team's last winning season came in 2017. Over the past four years, the Liberty have a .341 winning percentage.