Jul. 25—Interim head coach Mike Petersen has decided to step down from his current role with the Atlanta Dream due to health reasons, the WNBA team announced Saturday.
Assistant coach Darius Taylor will assume the role as interim head coach effective immediately. He becomes the Dream's third head coach since late May, when Nikki Collen stepped down for a college head coaching position at Baylor.
"For health reasons that the grind of the WNBA season will not allow me to adequately address, I have decided to step down from my coaching duties with the Dream," Petersen said. "I want to thank the Atlanta Dream players, staff and ownership for the opportunity to be part of an amazing organization."
Petersen, who took over the head coaching role a week prior to the 2021 season, led the Dream to a 6-13 record during the first half of the season. He has served as an assistant coach for the organization since the 2018 season, helping the Dream finish with a franchise-best 23-11 record and reach the WNBA semifinals. Petersen, who has coached at multiple levels for close to 40 years, will move to an advisory role within the Dream front office.
"It has been a pleasure working with and getting to know Coach Mike," Dream majority owner Larry Gottesdiener said. "We appreciate his willingness to step up and take on the role of head coach this season and everything he has done for the team. His experience and leadership will continue to be a benefit to the organization as he transitions to his new role."
The Atlanta Dream return to practice Wednesday to prepare for the second half of the 2021 season. Atlanta opens the second half of the season at the Phoenix Mercury on Aug. 15 at 6 p.m.