The Liberty announced Monday that the team and head coach Walt Hopkins have parted ways, and the search for a new coach will begin.
“The New York Liberty has initiated a search for a new head coach, following a decision by Walt Hopkins and management to part ways,” the team announced on social media. “We thank Walt for his spirit and commitment over the last two seasons, in which the team developed three WNBA All-Rookie Team members and Rookie of the Year.”
Hopkins parting ways with the Liberty comes at an interesting time for the franchise. After going just 2-20 in the 2020 bubble season, Hopkins’ first season with the team, the Liberty made a giant leap in 2021 going 12-20 and making the WNBA Playoffs as the eight seed.
The team would ultimately fall in the single-elimination first round to the Phoenix Mercury, 83-82.
This was Hopkins’ first head coaching gig in the WNBA after being a player development coach for the Tulsa Shock in 2013 and an assistant coach for the 2017 Minnesota Lynx, the year the team won the WNBA Championship.
Whoever the Liberty choose as their next coach will have a promising roster consisting of reigning Rookie of the Year forward Michaela Onyenwere, 2021 All-Star guard Betnijah Laney and former first-round pick Sabrina Ionescu.