The Tulsa Shock announced Fred Williams as the new head coach Thursday afternoon. Williams spent six seasons with the Atlanta Dream (2008-2013) and was part of a coaching staff that won three WNBA Eastern Conference Championship titles (2010, 2011, 2013). Williams became the Dream's Head Coach during the 2012 season and led Atlanta to the WNBA Finals in 2013.
"I am honored to be your Tulsa Shock coach," Williams said. "I'm looking forward to building a close relationship with the Tulsa community and the loyal fans that are hungry to become future champions. I am very excited about coming to Tulsa to continue helping our Shock players towards their highest achievements as a team and work hard with our ownership group and management to become one of the best organizations in pro sports."
Williams served as an assistant and head coach at the University of Southern California (USC) from 1983-90 and 1994-97. Williams helped guide the 1983-84 USC team to back-to-back NCAA titles. Williams spent four seasons rebuilding the former WNBA team Utah Starzz starting the first season (1998) as an assistant and the next three (1999, 2000, 2001) as the head coach. From 2003-2004, Williams spent two seasons with the former WNBA team Charlotte Sting as an assistant.
"This is a great way to kick-off 2014," Steve Swetoha, president of the Tulsa Shock, said. "Fred brings the right qualities and understanding as a head coach to get our team to the next level. Going into our fifth season we are confident in Fred's ability to prepare our team to compete in the Western Conference and working on getting to the playoffs and ultimately winning Championships."
Williams also served as an advance scout for the NBA Utah Jazz, Seattle Supersonics, Sacramento Kings and Washington Mystics. He was awarded the National Women's Basketball League coach of the year and all-star coach in 2006 in which he guided the San Diego Siege to the NWBL championship finals. Throughout his coaching career, Williams has coached several Hall of Fame players such as Cynthia Cooper, Pamela McGee, Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson.
"The ownership group is extremely excited to have Fred in Tulsa," said Sam Combs III, Owner and Managing Partner. "Fred is a proven winner and brings a broad background of coaching experience and player development expertise to our team. We believe he has a great understanding of the league and the ability to get us to the next level."
Williams is from Inglewood, California and a graduate of Boise State University. While at Boise State, Williams was an All-Big Sky player and one of the top free-throw shooters in the country. After graduating from Boise State, Williams signed as a free agent with the Utah Jazz.