BREAKING: New York Liberty, Walt Hopkins part ways

BRADENTON - JULY 10: Walt Hopkins of the New York Liberty talks to his players during practice at IMG Academy on July 10, 2020 in Bradenton, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Hopkins spent two seasons at the helm of the New York Liberty, guiding the team to its first playoff appearance since 2017.

The New York Liberty announced on Monday afternoon that the team mutually agreed to part way with head coach Walt Hopkins Jr. New York has already begun the process of searching for the ninth head coach in franchise history.

Hopkins, previously an assistant coach with the Minnesota Lynx, spent two seasons at the New York helm, amassing a 14-40 record. His time in seafoam was defined by youth, notably working with seven rookies during the Liberty’s time in the Bradenton bubble in 2020. Under his watch, the Liberty produced three WNBA All-Rookie representatives (Jazmine Jones, Michaela Onyenwere, DiDi Richards) and one Rookie of the Year (Onyenwere in 2021). Others to make their WNBA debuts under Hopkins included Sabrina Ionescu, Megan Walker, Jocelyn Willoughby, Kyle Shook, and Leaonna Odom.

Though Hopkins’ first year (dominated by an Ionescu injury) saw the Liberty stumble to a 2-20 record, the team improved by 10 wins in 2021, their first as full-time tenants of Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Hopkins was named May’s Coach of the Year for his efforts and guided the Liberty to its first playoff appearance since 2017.


Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags