Connecticut Sun’s Stephanie White wins WNBA Coach of the Year

The Connecticut Sun’s Stephanie White has been named the 2023 WNBA Coach of the Year, the league announced Sunday.

White received 36 of the possible 60 votes. Dallas Wings head coach Latricia Trammell came in second with 11 votes and Liberty head coach Sandy Brondello earned third place with six votes.

White gets the honor after leading the Sun to a 27-13 regular season record and locking up the No. 3 overall seed in her first year as head coach of the team. The Sun currently are tied 1-1 against the sixth-seeded Minnesota Lynx in the best-of-three first-round series.

The Sun’s success this season wasn’t totally expected considering the departures the franchise dealt with following their loss to the Las Vegas Aces in the 2022 WNBA Finals. Two-time Coach of the Year Curt Miller left Connecticut to join the Sparks in Los Angeles. The Sun traded their longtime guard Jasmine Thomas to Los Angeles in January. Hours prior to Thomas’ departure, the team announced they traded 2021 MVP Jonquel Jones to New York in a three-team deal.

Despite the changes, the team started the season strong. The Sun got off to a 10-3 start, but suffered another blow after star center Brionna Jones sustained a season-ending Achilles injury during a June 20 win against the Seattle Storm. Brionna Jones’ injury — along with the franchise’s other loses — didn’t stop the Sun from ranking second in defensive rating (98.8) and fourth in offensive rating (103.2).

The Sun kicked off the 2023 postseason with a 30-point victory over the Lynx on Thursday. The Lynx responded with a seven-point Game 2 win Sunday. The two teams play a decisive Game 3 Wednesday at Target Center.