For one of the few times since leaving Northeastern A&M after the 1987-88 season, Brian Agler will be coaching a women’s basketball game in the state of Oklahoma.
Agler’s Seattle Storm will be in Tulsa Sunday afternoon for a 3 p.m. WNBA game against the Shock at the BOK Center.
"It will be good to see familiar faces, friends and family," Agler said in an e-mail.
As the head women's basketball coach at Northeastern A&M from 1984-88, Agler compiled a 124-42 record (.747 winning percentage).
In 1985-86, the Lady Norse were ranked second nationally and posted a 30-2 record.
Agler guided the Columbus Quest to two American Basketball League games. The Quest was a combined 82-22 in his three seasons.
Agler was the ABL’s coach of the year in 1997.
After the collapse of the ABL in late 1998, Agler moved to the WNBA.
He was the first head coach of the Minnesota Lynx, piloting them to a 48-67 record from 1999-2002.
He served as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Mercury in the 2004 season, then with the San Antonio Silver Stars from 2005 to 2007.
The Storm named Agler head coach on Jan. 9, 2008, succeeding Anne Donovan.
Agler reached 100 wins during his WNBA coaching career with the Storm’s victory over the New York Liberty on June 18.
He’s the eighth coach in league history to reach at least 100 wins.
Seattle owns the WNBA’s best record at 12-2 following Friday night’s 85-81 victory over Indiana.
"Our league is extremely tough," Agler said. "It is very balanced, so we feel extremely fortunate to be where we are record-wise."
The game on Friday started a rugged three games in five night grind for the Storm, who are at Tulsa today then host San Antonio on Tuesday.
"Our schedule is brutal," said Agler, who also is director of player personnel with the Storm. "We just finished three games in four days going coast-to-to coast, and now three in five. Everyone gets tired through traveling."
Seattle is third in the WNBA in scoring (83.3 points per game) and rebounding (36.7).
Four players are scoring in double figures, led by Lauren Jackson at 20.0 points per game, fourth best in the league.
Swin Cash is scoring 15.0, Camille Little 12.2 and Sue Bird 12.0.
Bird is the WNBA’s assist leader with 6.2 a game. She became the second player in league history to reach 1,500 career assists on June 20 in Seattle.
Los Angeles Sparks guard Ticha Penicheiro is the record holder with 2,218 over 379 career games.
“Lauren and Swin are having great years, but Sue Bird has been a huge part of our success,” Agler said.
Bird tweaked a knee during a game last week but Agler said she returned to practice Wednesday.
“Camille Little and Tanisha Wright are playing extremely well,” he said. “Svetlana Abrosimova (an off-season free agent signee who played for Agler in
Minnesota) and Tanisha are really like starters off of bench,” he said.
Tulsa is reeling from a seven-game losing streak.
The Shock (3-10), who have been battling a staph infection that has affected four players, suffered a 92-78 loss to the New York Liberty at home Friday night.
Guard Shanna Crossley had been hospitalized and is undergoing antibiotic treatment at home. Amber Holt, Chante Black and Marion Jones had been diagnosed with the illness, but played Friday night.
“Hopefully, they can determine the source and if someone is the carrier,” coach Nolan Richardson told the Tulsa World. “Amber was the first to have it.”