Wings hire defensive-minded Trammell as coach from Sparks

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) The Dallas Wings hired Los Angeles Sparks assistant Latricia Trammell as head coach Monday, picking a defensive specialist for a franchise seeking its first deep playoff run since moving to Texas.

The move comes seven weeks after the Wings said they were declining the option on Vickie Johnson's contract despite the coach making the postseason each of her two seasons.

Trammell was in charge of a Sparks defense that put four players on WNBA All-Defensive teams, including 2020 Defensive Player of the Year Candace Parker.

Trammell was an assistant with the San Antonio Stars in 2017 after coaching smaller colleges in her native Oklahoma and Colorado. She won back-to-back NAIA national championships at Oklahoma City University in 2014 and 2015, and also was a high school coach in Oklahoma and Texas.

"Coach Trammell has proven to be a winner at every level of basketball she has coached, including the WNBA," Wings president Greg Bibb said. "I have long admired the approach Latricia takes with coaching, which includes exhaustive preparation, an emphasis on communication and relationships and a continual desire to learn and grow her craft."

Johnson led the Wings to their first playoff victory since coming to the Dallas area seven years ago, but she couldn't get them out of the first round. Dallas won Game 2 of a best-of-three series against Connecticut. The Sun won the deciding game and advanced to the finals, losing to Las Vegas in four games.

In Johnson's first season, the Wings were blown out by Chicago in a one-game playoff in the first round.

"I'm thrilled to be joining the Dallas Wings and I am honored and excited to lead this talented roster," Trammell said. "I believe my coaching experiences at every level have prepared me for this opportunity."

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Updated November 7, 2022

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