DETROIT SHOCK HEAD COACH/GENERAL MANAGER BILL LAIMBEER RESIGNS
Rick Mahorn Promoted to Head Coach; Cheryl Reeve Promoted To Assistant Coach/General Manager
Auburn Hills, MI - Tom Wilson, President and CEO of the Detroit Shock and Palace Sports and Entertainment, announced today that Bill Laimbeer has resigned from his duties as head coach and general manager of the Detroit Shock. In a related move, Wilson announced that effective immediately, Rick Mahorn has been promoted to head coach and Cheryl Reeve has been promoted to assistant coach/general manager.
“It’s disappointing that Bill has decided to step down as head coach and general manager of the Detroit Shock,” said Wilson. “But at the same time, Bill led the Shock to three WNBA Championships and a league-record 27 postseason victories during his seven-year tenure. We thank him for his guidance and dedication to the franchise and our organization.”
Laimbeer’s three WNBA titles (2003, 2006, 2008) are one shy of the WNBA record held by Hall of Fame coach Van Chancellor, who guided the Houston Comets to the first four WNBA titles in league history (1997-2000). In his first full season as head coach, Laimbeer orchestrated a historic worst-to-first turnaround, for which he was named 2003 WNBA Coach of the Year. The Shock, 9-23 a year earlier, won a league-best 25 games and the 16-game turnaround was the largest in WNBA history. In addition to three WNBA titles during his tenure, the Shock won four Eastern Conference Championships (2003, 2006, 2007, 2008), amassed a regular-season record of 137-92 (.598) in 229 WNBA games and won a WNBA record 10 WNBA Finals games. Laimbeer’s six consecutive playoff appearances rank second all-time in WNBA history and his 137 victories rank fifth in league history. As a general manager, Laimbeer is credited with the drafting of 2003 WNBA Rookie of the Year Cheryl Ford, acquiring 2003 WNBA Finals MVP Ruth Riley in the 2003 WNBA dispersal draft and the acquisitions of 2008 WNBA Finals MVP Katie Smith and 2007 Sixth Woman of the Year Plenette Pierson.
Mahorn, who is serving his fifth season with the Shock, becomes the fourth head coach in Detroit’s 11-year history as a franchise. The Hartford, Connecticut native brings with him over 20 years of professional basketball experience, including a NBA Championship with the Pistons in 1989 and two WNBA Championships as an assistant coach with the Shock in 2006 and 2008. Besides his extensive NBA experience, Mahorn served as head coach of the Rockford Lightning in the Continental Basketball Association during 1999-2000 season, leading the squad to a 15-7 record and an American Conference title. The Lightning earned the No. 2 seed in the CBA playoffs that season and Mahorn was recognized with two CBA Coach of the Month honors. He went on to join the Atlanta Hawks coaching staff during the 2000-01 NBA season.
“We are pleased to promote Rick Mahorn as head coach of the Detroit Shock,” said Wilson. “Rick has been vital to the success of the Shock over the last five seasons and we feel that the transition will be seamless. Rick has built tremendous relationships with the Shock players during his tenure and we feel that his championship goals for the franchise remain unchanged.”
Reeve is serving her fourth season as assistant coach and will assume the duties of general manager. She served the previous two seasons as Shock Director of Player Personnel and was heavily involved in the roster development of the current team. Reeve got her start in the WNBA with the Charlotte Sting in 2001 after serving as head coach at Indiana State from 1995-1999.