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Carol Ross is the Sparks' new head coach

January 5, 2012 | 10:55 am

Carol-ross_350The Sparks hired Carol Ross as head coach.

Ross was an assistant with Atlanta the last three years and helped take the Dream to the WNBA Finals in 2010 and 2011.

Ross will replace Joe Bryant, who was hired last season as an assistant but took over the helm when Jennifer Gillom was fired on July 10 after the Sparks skidded to a 4-6 start. Even though Bryant was promoted, he remained on an assistant's contract, which expired at the end of the WNBA season, according to Sparks director of communications Ben Alkaly.

Alkaly said that Bryant was considered for the position of head coach again this season but the team ultimately decided to go with Ross.

Before Ross moved to the WNBA ranks, she was the head coach at Florida (1990-2002) and Mississippi (2003-2007), where she amassed a combined record of 324-161.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Carol Ross to our Sparks basketball family,” Sparks general manager Penny Toler said in a press release.  “Carol is a proven winner with an incredible track record at both the collegiate and pro levels.  She has groomed many women for great WNBA careers.  We’re confident Carol is the ideal coach to lead the Sparks to our next Championship.”

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-- Melissa Rohlin

Photo: Carol Ross instructs her team during her coaching days at Mississippi. Credit: Ann Heisenfelt / Associated Press

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