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Tuesday, October 12, 2010
John Whisenant is Liberty's new coach

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Former Sacramento Monarchs coach and general manager John Whisenant was hired Tuesday to fill both roles for the New York Liberty.

Whisenant, who coached Sacramento to the WNBA championship in 2005, found himself suddenly out of a job when the Monarchs folded in November. He served as GM for seven years and was coach from 2004-06 and parts of the '03 and '09 seasons.

"I'm just tickled to death to be part of trying to take this Liberty team, that I think has all the parts with some massaging, to go ahead and win the WNBA championship," he said on a conference call.

When coach Anne Donovan announced in March she would leave for Seton Hall after one more season with the Liberty, Whisenant was immediately interested in the position. Carol Blazejowski, then the GM, left the Liberty last month.

Whisenant was on the road for the Monarchs when he got a call that the franchise was folding. Still under contract, he initially hoped the team would relocate to another city in time for the season.

That didn't happen, and Whisenant contemplated other job offers. He spent the past season living in Albuquerque, N.M., watching WNBA games on the web.

"This is the best job in the world to me," he said. "It couldn't have worked out better."

Whisenant is 85-54 as coach in the regular season.

The Liberty went 22-12 last season to tie for first place in the Eastern Conference and lost in the conference finals.