ATLANTA, March 4, 2014 - The WNBA Atlanta Dream announced today that five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards has been named an assistant coach on Dream head coach Michael Cooper's staff. Edwards, who was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011, starred at Cairo High School and the University of Georgia before building an acclaimed professional and international track record.
"I am a firm believer in the philosophy that you 'win with people', and Teresa is a great illustration of that," said Dream Executive Vice President and General Manager Angela Taylor. "She has had a tremendous impact on the growth of women's basketball in the state of Georgia and beyond, and we are thrilled to bring her on board as we surround our players with the best coaches in the business. Each coach brings extensive experience in the game, championship success, dynamic leadership qualities and positive energy."
"Teresa's experience and knowledge of the WNBA, plus the fact that she is a native Georgian, adds great dimension to our very accomplished staff," said Cooper. "Her player development skills are another plus, and she is someone that our young ladies can look up to. She has not only excelled in her athletic endeavors, but in life as well. We're excited to have her as part of our team."
"I'm grateful for this new opportunity to be back on the hardwood, because there is nothing like doing what you love to do, doing it where you feel at home and doing it with winners," said Edwards. "The Atlanta Dream has a rich tradition of winning, and I'm very pleased that Coach Cooper has offered me a seat on his bench. It's going to be work, but I'm anticipating fun work given the championship caliber of the Dream. Expectations will be high and I am very excited to join the staff and take on the challenge of winning a championship with the Dream."
Edwards' coaching resume includes a stint with the Tulsa Shock in 2011 when she was promoted from assistant coach to interim head coach for the final 23 games of the season, and one season (2007) as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Lynx. She also served as the Shock's Director of Player Personnel in 2011 and has most recently been serving as a speaker and sport clinician for Dream Faith Productions.
Edwards has also worked as a broadcast analyst, doing SEC basketball games for Fox Sports South/SportSouth from 2007-10, for WNBA playoff games on NBATV in 2009 and Atlanta Dream games for Comcast in 2008. She was also an analyst for Georgia High School Association State Basketball games on GPTV from 1998-2000 and for the MBC Network in Atlanta, doing HBCU men's and women's games from 2000-02.
But Edwards is best known for her accomplishments on the court, as she is widely considered one of the greatest female athletes of all-time. In fact, Sports Illustrated named her the No. 22 greatest female athlete - and No. 2 basketball player - of the 20th century.
Edwards is the most decorated Olympic basketball player ever, having won four gold medals and one bronze. A four-time USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year, she became the youngest Olympic women's basketball gold medalist in 1984 after her sophomore season at Georgia, and in her final Olympics in 2000, became the oldest player to win a gold medal in women's basketball. USA Basketball teams with her on the roster compiled an overall record of 205-14, for a 93.6 winning percentage.
Edwards was also selected to serve as Chef de Mission of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team for the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London. Selected by the USOC board of directors, she provided overall leadership to the USA team and functioned as the liaison officer between the London Organizing Committee, the International Olympic Committee and other National Olympic Committees at the Games.
Edwards enjoyed a successful professional career, playing for teams in Italy, Japan, Spain, France and Russia before occupying a formative role in the advent of professional leagues in the U.S. Edwards was a member of the ABL's board of directors and served as a player/coach for the Atlanta Glory. She wrapped up her playing career with the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx in 2003 and 2004, and in 2004, received the WNBA's Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award.
In 2011, Edwards was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, which is just one of eight Halls of Fame to include her. She was a member of the inaugural class for UGA's all-sports Circle of Honor in 1995, was inducted into the State of Georgia's Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, the National High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2002, the Grady County (Ga.) Sports Hall of Fame in 2009, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2009, the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 and the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2013.
Edwards was a two-time All-American at Georgia, finishing her collegiate career with 1,989 points, 653 assists and 342 steals. She led Georgia to its first Final Four in 1983 and a national runner-up finish in 1985. Georgia compiled a 116-17 record during her four seasons in Athens and won three Southeastern Conference titles. In 2011, Edwards received the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, which annually recognizes distinguished individuals on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their college athletics careers.
Edwards was a four-year starter at Cairo High School in Georgia, and in her junior and senior years, the Syrupmaids were 58-3. She scored 1,982 points in her high school career, and was honored as the Georgia High School Player of the Year in 1982.
The three-time Eastern Conference Champion Atlanta Dream tips off its seventh season in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) on May 16 against the San Antonio Stars in Philips Arena. The Dream has qualified for the playoffs in each of the past five seasons, including conference titles in 2013, 2011 and 2010. Season tickets for the 2014 season are now available and can be purchased by calling (877) 977-7729 or visiting www.AtlantaDream.net.