The Phoenix Mercury have hired veteran NBA assistant Nate Tibbetts as their head coach.
Tibbetts has nearly two decades of experience as an NBA assistant coach and in the NBA’s G League, where he was both a head coach and an assistant. He was most recently an assistant with the Orlando Magic.
The 46-year-old had been finalizing his deal with the Mercury over the past few days and the team made its announcement Wednesday.
The Mercury were a WNBA-worst 9-31 last season. They have a strong older core built around with Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner. Phoenix fired coach Vanessa Nygaard in late June and promoted assistant Nikki Blue for the rest of the season.
The Mercury will be Tibbetts’ first women’s basketball coaching job. It’s also the first hire for new Phoenix general manager Nick U’Ren. U’ren came to the Mercury from the Golden State Warriors.