CHICAGO (March 22, 2021) – The Chicago Sky announced today the addition of former WNBA All-Star Tonya Edwards to General Manager and Head Coach James Wade’s coaching staff. Edwards joins returning assistant coaches Olaf Lange and Emre Vatansever for the upcoming 2021 WNBA season.
Bringing an abundance of experience to a staff that already shares decades of basketball knowledge, Edwards notably served as an assistant coach for the 2016 Los Angeles Sparks WNBA championship team, helping lead newly-acquired Sky forward Candace Parker to her first WNBA Finals MVP.
“I am elated and honored for the opportunity afforded to me by the Sky organization and Coach Wade,” Edwards said. “I’m looking forward to working alongside the Alter Group, coaching staff and these world class ladies as we strive to bring a championship to Chicago.”
Edwards was a part of a staff in Los Angeles that led the team to one of its best three-year stretches in franchise history. In addition to the 2016 WNBA championship, Los Angeles went 71-31 from 2016-18 in the regular season.
“We are happy to announce the addition of Tonya Edwards to our coaching staff,” Wade said. “Tonya brings a wealth of experience as a player and as a coach. She has championship experience and that’s something that we always appreciate having. Tonya is someone who I’ve known for a while and I’ve always admired the way she worked with players and the way she approached the game.”
Originally selected by the Minnesota Lynx with the No. 7 overall pick in the 1999 WNBA Draft, Edwards spent four seasons playing in the league with Minnesota, Phoenix and Charlotte. Prior to the WNBA, Edwards won two championships (1996-97, 1997-98) with the Columbus Quest of the American Basketball League.
A legend as the most decorated athlete to come out of her hometown of Flint, Mich., Edwards coached at her alma mater of Northwest Community High School (1990-95) following a collegiate career at Tennessee (1986-90). She led the Wildcats to the 1993 Michigan State Championship off the heels of a perfect 28-0 record where she was also named as the state’s High School Coach of the Year. Playing with the Lady Vols under Hall of Fame coach Pat Summit, Edwards won two National Championships (1987, 1989) while being named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player (1987) and earning All-SEC Second Team honors (1988).
Edwards followed her tenure in the WNBA as a player with one season as the coach of the Chicago Blaze (NWBL), three years as an assistant coach at the University of Detroit and seven seasons as the head coach for the Alcorn State Lady Braves. This will be her first season back in the WNBA since 2018.
“We’re happy and now we feel like a more complete coaching staff,” Wade said. “Now, we’re ready to rock and roll.”
For the latest information on the upcoming 25th WNBA season, Chicago Sky fans can visit sky.wnba.com, speak to a ticket representative by calling (866) SKY-WNBA or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.