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ESPN: Liberty to hire Sandy Brondello, Aussie women’s team coach, WNBA Champion

Phoenix Mercury v Los Angeles Sparks Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reports that the Liberty have hired Sandy Brondello as their new head coach. Brondello is head coach of the Australian women’s national team and until recently led the Phoenix Mercury,

Others later tweeted out confirmation of Shelburne’s scoop.

Brondello will succeed Walt Hopkins who agreed to a mutual parting with the Liberty in December. This past season, he took the Liberty to the WNBA playoffs for the first time in four years.

Three weeks ago, after she had left Phoenix, Brondello talked about the New York opening on a podcast.

“I’d like to stay coaching in the WNBA. I love the challenge of bringing a team together in the best league in the world with the best players in the world,” he told ESPN’s Ball and the Real World podcast

“The only team that’s available is New York, that would be a great situation if they deemed me to be the next coach. We’ll see, if not I can focus on the Opals next year and look the following year if any jobs become available. I like challenging myself, so we’ll see.”

A former WNBA All-Star at shooting guard, Brondello led the Mercury to the league championship in 2014. She has a career record of 164-128. Last season, the Mercury got to the WNBA Finals with her. Brondello made the WNBA playoffs in each of her nine years as a head coach.

In April 2017, Brondello was named head coach of the Australian women’s team known as the Opals. She will continue in that role.

Brondello, from Queensland on Australia’s Pacific coast, is the latest from the continent to find employ in Brooklyn. Adam Caporn, an assistant men’s national team coach, is the Long Island Nets head coach. Daniel Jones is head of strength and conditioning for Brooklyn. Dan Meehan is the director of sports science and Les Gelis is director of sports medicine for Brooklyn. And of course, Patty Mills is simply in charge.