Washington Mystics General Manager and Head Coach Mike Thibault is retiring from that position effective immediately. Thibault is a three-time Coach of the Year in the WNBA and has the most wins in WNBA history. Thibault will remain with the team as General Manager. He has served as the team’s Head Coach since December 18, 2012.
His son, Eric Thibault, has been promoted to Head Coach in his place. Eric has spent the last 10 seasons as a member of Mike’s coaching staff, including the last four years as Associate Head Coach. He focused on largely on player development during that time, specializing in working with guards.
In a statement, Monumental Sports & Entertainment CEO Ted Leonsis said the following:
When we first hired Mike 10 years ago, we assigned him a large task: to make the Washington Mystics relevant in the WNBA, and he more than delivered. In the last decade, we won a championship and have been a perennial playoff team while appearing in back-to-back WNBA Finals.
We have had some of the best players in the world wear the Mystics uniform. Mike was able to bring a once in a generation talent in Elena Delle Donne to our team. His talent evaluation and player development acumen are unmatched from selecting Natasha Cloud and Emma Meesseman in the second round to adding Ariel Atkins and Shakira Austin to the Mystics roster. We are thrilled that he will continue to lend his expertise to our basketball operations as general manager and look forward to continued success for the Mystics.
Thibault added this in the statement.
I am proud to have been the Head Coach of the Washington Mystics the past 10 years. After 55 years in coaching (the last 20 in the WNBA), I feel like it is time to turn this team over to Eric and his coaching staff on the court. He is ready and prepared for it. I am looking forward to my continued role as GM, working together with the incredible energy that Maria, Eric and the rest of the staff bring in order to continue our pursuit of another WNBA Championship. Maria will take on an even greater role in the development of our team on and off the court. Needless to say, we have an important off-season ahead.
I will be forever grateful to Ted Leonsis, Sheila Johnson, and the Monumental ownership group for the support and resources they have given us to succeed, as well as the lifetime friendships that we have formed. I have been blessed to have worked with so many great players here in D.C. and throughout my career, and I’m excited to still be around the wonderful core group we have returning this coming season. A special thanks to the wonderful staff we have had throughout our time here – I couldn’t ask for better teammates in this journey. I have had so many great mentors and met so many unbelievable people because of the game of basketball – thanks to all of them. Thanks also to our great fans who believed in us when we promised them a championship after all the years of waiting.
The Mystics have made the playoffs in 8 of their last 10 seasons. That includes the organization’s first and only WNBA Championship in 2019. Mike’s record during that time is 173-155. As GM, Mike will still decide who the Mystics take with the 4th pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft on April 10, 2023.