Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Washington Merry-Go-Round II

By Mel Greenberg

It didn't take the WNBA's Washington Mystics long to fill the six-day-old vacant head coaching job after Michael Adams jumped on the Metro's Green Line from the MCI Center to College Park, Md., on April 15, to join the staff of Gary Williams with the University of Maryland men's team.

The job went to former New York Liberty coach Richie Adubato, the victim of the Fourth-of-July weekend massacre by general manager Carol Blazejowski last season that resulted in the elevation of assistant Patty Coyle to interim head coach.

After Coyle led the team to the playoffs, she was rewarded with the job outright in the offseason by Blazejowski.

Adubato follows a path originated after the 1998 season in which Nancy Darsch, now a Minnesota Lynx assistant, was fired from New York and took the Washington job, while Adubato replaced her on the Liberty.

The new Washington coach will re-unite with former assistant Jeff House who had been hired along with Marynell Meadors by Adams days before he skipped the District.

Meadors was the coach of the Charlotte Sting during the WNBA's inaugural season in 1997, and also coached the Tennessee Tech powerhouse in the early 1970s before moving on to several other collegiate programs.

We had mentioned that Joe Ciampi, the former Auburn women's coach who retired a year ago and will be inducted in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville in June, might get the Washington job.

Ciampi was involved in negotiations according to a source familiar with the discussions but the two sides could not come to an agreement.

Incidentally, when New York and Washington meet, the Liberty bench will also include assistant Marianne Stanley, the only person to last as head coach for two seasons with the Mystics (2002-03) in the eight-year history of the franchise.

Adubato will be the first Mystics coach to start the season without All-Star Chamique Holdsclaw, not counting Washington's first season which was before she completed a stellar career at the University of Tennessee.

Holdsclaw was the star of drama in the nation's capital last summer when she left the team in early July, never to return after since being trade to Los Angeles for Sparks All-Star DeLisha Milton last month.

After Holdsclaw's departure, the team rallied to make the playoffs.

Adubato will take control of a roster that shows overall improvement from a year ago.

That's the report for now.

Until next time:

-- Mel

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