Mike Thibault Retires After Legendary Coaching Career

Mike Thibault Retires After Legendary Coaching Career

The entire basketball community celebrates the retirement of Washington Mystics head coach Mike Thibault after 19 seasons.

Thibault, 72, will hand off head coaching duties to his son, Eric Thibault, and will now join the front office of the Mystics as the general manager. In a press conference announcing his retirement, Thibault shed recognition to the ownership group that believed in his abilities to bring Washington its first championship in franchise history.

“I will be forever grateful to Ted Leonsis, Sheila Johnson, and the Monumental ownership group for the support and resources they have given us to succeed,” said Thibault. “As well as the lifetime friendships that we have formed, I have been blessed to have worked with so many great players here in D.C. and throughout my career, and I’m excited to still be around the wonderful core group we have returning this coming season.”

Thibault is in the Mount Rushmore of WNBA figures, and his resume speaks for itself. Thibault is the winningest coach in WNBA history after winning 379 games throughout his career with the Mystics and Connecticut Sun.

In three of his 19 seasons, Thibault was awarded the prestigious coach of the year award in 06′, 08′, and 13′. The wins came in bunches, but the epitome of his coaching legacy came from his first championship in 2019.

The Mystics went 26-8 that season and were led by 2019 MVP Elena Delle Donne, Kristi Toliver, and Emma Meesseman, to name a few. That Big 3 set the edge for their Finals series against Thibault’s former Sun team. The Mystics made it to the Finals the year before but were swept by the Seattle Storm. Game 5 of the 2019 WNBA Finals was just a little more significant with the backdrop of trying to win Thibault’s and Washington’s first-ever title.

It was the cherry on top to finally be crowned a champion for Thibault. His role now is to hope his son delivers the same success he has had for the last two decades.

“A special thanks to the wonderful staff we have had throughout our time here – I couldn’t ask for better teammates in this journey,” said Thibault. “I have had so many great mentors and met so many unbelievable people because of the game of basketball – thanks to all of them. Thanks also to our great fans who believed in us when we promised them a championship after all the years of waiting.”

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