Washington Mystics General Manager Linda Hargrove announced today that Wayne “Tree” Rollins has been named the team’s Head Coach. Rollins was named the Interim Head Coach on June 1, 2007 and led the team to a 15-14 record. Per company policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We felt that Tree took over our team during a tough situation, and our players responded to his coaching style,” said Hargrove. “We think that he has earned the opportunity to coach our team and lead us to a Championship.”
Rollins joined the team in 2006 as an Assistant Coach and was instrumental in helping the Mystics achieve its best finish (18-16) in franchise history. Under his leadership, Mystics players Alana Beard and DeLisha Milton-Jones were named to the 2007 WNBA All-Star team. Rollins has been an assistant coach in the NBA with the Washington Wizards, Indiana Pacers and the Orlando Magic. He was also the Head Coach with the Greenville Groove of the National Basketball Developmental League. Most recently, Rollins held the job of President and General Manager of the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association (ABA).
“I am elated to be the coach of the Washington Mystics,” said Rollins. “I think that with the talent and leadership that we have returning to our team, we should be able to be one of the most competitive teams in the WNBA.”
Rollins spent 18 seasons in the NBA, playing with the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Detroit Pistons before ending his career with the Orlando Magic. During his career, he was considered a defensive force, accumulating 2,542 blocks, 6,249 points and 6,750 rebounds. In fifteen of his 18 seasons, his teams advanced to the Playoffs. In the playoffs, Rollins averaged 3.9 points per game, 1.44 blocks per game and 4.6 rebounds per game. Rollins will be inducted in the Georgia Hall of Fame in February, 2008.
“Tree has been a quiet giant within our Mystics organization. His work ethic and dedication to the game makes him the best fit for our team,” said President and Managing Partner, Sheila C. Johnson. “It gives me great pleasure to present our new head coach, Tree Rollins.”