Sparks' Hopkins named next head coach of WNBA's New York Liberty
The New York Liberty today announced Walt Hopkins as the 8th head coach in the franchise’s history. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.
Hopkins joins the Liberty after serving as assistant coach for the Minnesota Lynx since 2017.
“We could not be more excited to welcome Walt Hopkins to the New York Liberty,” said Liberty General Manager Jonathan Kolb. “Walt is not only a student of the game, he’s a student of people. His elite ability to connect and build relationships will go a long way towards establishing sustainable winning habits within a culture to which people want to contribute.
Walt’s track record for successfully developing talent will be integral to maximizing our players’ abilities and putting them in the best possible positions to succeed.”
Hopkins will take over as head coach ahead of the Liberty’s inaugural season in Brooklyn at Barclays Center, which was announced in October.
Prior to joining the Lynx staff, Hopkins served as Academic Coach at the University of California, Berkeley (2014-2016). He also served as the assistant women’s basketball coach at Utah Valley University (2013-2014) and Director of Basketball Operations and Player Development Coach for the Tulsa Shock (2013).
“I couldn’t possibly be more excited to join the Liberty organization,” said Hopkins. “Few teams can lay claim to a more storied history, or a more passionate, dedicated, and knowledgeable fan base than this franchise. I’m honored to have the opportunity to help this tremendously talented group build upon the solid foundation that the players and staff have worked so hard to establish here in New York. I cannot wait to get started.”
During his time as assistant coach with the Lynx, Hopkins helped accumulate a 63-39 record, three consecutive trips to the WNBA Playoffs and one WNBA Championship.
Originally from Sparks, Nevada, Hopkins received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Nevada-Reno. He also holds master’s degrees from Harvard and UC Berkeley, where his studies focused primarily on applying findings from Social, Developmental and Educational Psychology to coaching settings.