The Wizards announced that Mystics point guard Kristi Toliver was named as an assistant coach for player development on Tuesday. She had stints as an assistant coach for one game for the Wizards in Summer League and was a coaching intern during the NBA preseason.
Washington is not the first team to hire a woman on the coaching staff, but they are still among the first. The other teams who hired women on their coaching staffs are the San Antonio Spurs who brought in now-lead assistant coach Becky Hammon; the Sacramento Kings hired Nancy Lieberman and Jenny Boucek; the Mavericks hired Boucek this past summer, and the Clippers hired Natalie Nakase as well. And finally, former WNBA (and Mystics) player Lindsey Harding became a scout for the Philadelphia 76ers last summer.
Unlike other women who have joined NBA teams’ coaching staffs, Toliver will still be an active WNBA player while being on the Wizards’ coaching staff assuming she plays next summer. The other female coaches finished their playing careers before beginning their coaching ones, so the Wizards and Mystics have a chance to be first in that respect.
According to Howard Megdal’s WNBA salary database, Toliver’s current contract will last through 2019 where she will be paid a maximum salary of $115,000. Since she is coming off an All-Star season and still has plenty left in the tank, Toliver is probably not retiring very soon. That said, it’s safe to assume that she will remain with the Mystics for the rest of her professional playing career.
Congratulations to Kristi on joining the Wizards’ staff full-time!