With only three games remaining in the regular season, chasing the eighth and final playoff spot, the Dallas Wings elected to relieve Fred Williams of his coaching duties on Sunday following a 93-80 loss in Washington.
Williams was hired by the Tulsa Shock in 2014 and remained in position as the franchise transitioned to Dallas. The franchise was 71-96 over Williams’ five-year tenure and currently enduring an eight-game losing skid.
Assistant coach Taj McWilliams-Franklin has been named interim head coach for the remainder of the season while Erin Phillips and Travis Charles will serve as assistant coaches.
Dallas intends to conduct a full search for a permanent head coach immediately following the 2018 season.
McWilliams-Franklin was named assistant coach for the Dallas Wings in 2018 and served in that role the past two seasons.
“Following today’s game, I made the decision to change direction in regards to our head coaching position,” stated President and CEO Greg Bibb in an official release. “I felt this move was necessary. The season has not met our expectations. I have asked [McWilliams-Franklin] to serve as our interim head coach and I have the upmost confidence that she and our staff will do everything possible to put us in the best position to win. I wish Fred the best moving forward.
“Our focus remains on qualifying for the playoffs and ultimately competing for a WNBA Championship.”
The Wings are highlighted by an All-Star duo in Skylar Diggins-Smith and Liz Cambage — both rank among the league’s top-10 in scoring as Cambage’s 23 points per game pace the league while Diggins-Smith’s ranks ninth among the league averaging 18.2 points per game.
Entering Sunday’s matchup against the Mystics, the Wings faced their third back-to-back contest in 48 days and Diggins-Smith shared her frustrations with regards to the league’s scheduling ineptitude. The same ineptitude which forced the Las Vegas Aces to sit out a game, ultimately resulting in forfeiture, after citing concerns of health and safety following more than 25 hours of travel.
On our third back-to-back of the year. Pretty insane when you think about it. This league, with commercial travel, should never have back-to-back games. Even in a year where we’re cramming 34 games into 93 days…
— Skylar Diggins-Smith (@SkyDigg4) August 11, 2018
Dallas returns to action at 6 p.m. Tuesday on the road against the Connecticut Sun.
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