Sandy Brondello, the Liberty’s new head coach, has filled out her staff, adding her husband as an assistant and the Denver Broncos assistant performance coach as head strength and conditioning coach, the team announced Wednesday.
Olaf Lange, who is Brondello’s husband and won a ring with the Chicago Sky last season;, Roneeka Hodges, a former WNBA player; and Zach O’Brien, Brondello’s player development assistant with the Phoenix Mercury, will serve as assistant coaches.
Brondello, the former Phoenix Mercury coach who won the WNBA title in 2014, spoke of the hires in a statement released by the Libs.
“I’m incredibly proud of the staff that we’ve built in New York,” said Brondello, who also coaches the Australian national team. “Olaf’s track record as a coach and developer, both internationally and in the WNBA, will surely be an asset to our rising young core.” Brondello continued, “Roneeka and Zach are both lifelong students of the game and are poised to take the next step in their coaching careers with the Liberty.”
The Liberty also added to its performance team with Adam Wolf (Director of Player Care), Joelle Muro (Physical Therapist) and Emily Zaler (Head Strength & Conditioning Coach).
Zaler is perhaps the most intriguing hire. She comes to the Liberty from the Denver Broncos of the NFL where she was the player performance coach the last two years and one of the few women assistant coaches in the league. Before joining the Broncos two years ago, Zaler, a former college soccer star, had worked with NFL players as a personal trainer.
“In the WNBA, the New York Liberty are on the cutting-edge of medical and performance care and it’s because of the willingness of our owners to invest in these often underutilized areas,” said Jonathan Kolb, the Liberty GM. “Acquiring and elevating this proficient group best positions our team to develop and excel across all aspects of the game.”
Jackie Powell, who’s written extensively about the Liberty for The Next, tweeted this about the performance team hires...
What remains significant here is the investment from ownership into medical and performance care. In the press release, NYL GM Jonathan Kolb expressed that in the past, having a full player performance staff wasn’t always certain, adding that it’s often an “underutilized” area.— Jackie Powell (she/her) (@ClassicJpow) March 16, 2022
The Liberty opens its highly anticipated fourth season under Joe and Clara Tsai on May 7 in Brooklyn.
- New York Liberty Finalize 2022 Coaching Staff - New York Liberty