Mercury, head coach Sandy Brondello part ways after WNBA Finals run

Two months after reaching the WNBA Finals, the Phoenix Mercury are making a change at head coach.

The Mercury announced Monday that Sandy Brondello, who has helmed the team since 2014, will not return for the 2022 season. The team said the two parties "mutually agreed to part ways" and that her contract would not be renewed.

Mercury general manager Jim Pitman lauded Brondello's accomplishments with the team, but added "We are confident a new voice is necessary for our team at this time."

Pitman's statement:

“My first move after taking over as general manager in 2013 was to hire Sandy Brondello as our head coach, and the basketball success we’ve achieved in that time is a credit to her, her staff, our players, and the culture she was part of building. Our 2014 championship, two Finals appearances, eight playoff appearances in eight seasons, six Semifinal berths, and nine single-elimination playoff wins in that time all speak to the consistently high results her leadership and signature preparation brought us. She oversaw our program with the utmost integrity, and I’m sincerely grateful for her partnership and friendship. Sandy and her family will always be a part of the X-Factor family, and we wish them the best.

“At the same time, we understand that an eight-year tenure for a head coach is an exception in any professional sport, and we are confident a new voice is necessary for our team at this time. Our expectation is to compete for championships now and in the future, and the search to find the head coach who can help lead us there has already begun.”

Brondello's exit ends an eight-season tenure in Phoenix that began on the best of notes, when Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner led the team to its third WNBA championship. The Mercury have since struggled to replicate that success, only reaching the Finals again last season.

With an additional season coaching the San Antonio Silver Stars in 2010, Brondello's career coaching record sits at 164-128.

Her exit did not go without notice from at least one Mercury player.

Phoenix now becomes one of two WNBA teams with head coaching vacancies, joining the New York Liberty who parted ways with Walt Hopkins earlier Monday.