Fred Williams out as Sparks coach, leaves for Auburn women’s job

Los Angeles Sparks interim coach Fred Williams has officially departed the franchise for a previously accepted role as the associate head coach of the Auburn women’s basketball program.

Williams agreed to the position at Auburn in early May and was planning to leave the Sparks in July. But then he became interim coach in June after the firing of coach and general manager Derek Fisher.

Williams had recently said he was interested in being appointed the head coach of the Sparks. But Los Angeles (13-23) finished the season with nine losses in 10 games to miss the playoffs in back-to-back years for just the second time in the franchise’s 26-year history.

The only other time the Sparks missed the postseason in consecutive seasons was in 1997 and 1998 — their first two campaigns.

Los Angeles went 8-16 with Williams at the helm. He just finished his fourth year on the Sparks’ staff.

“The Sparks would like to thank Coach Fred for his leadership and guidance over the past four seasons as both an assistant coach and as Interim Head Coach,” Los Angeles managing partner Eric Holoman said in a news release issued Wednesday. “Fred has had an illustrious WNBA coaching career, and we know he will continue to make an impact on women’s basketball at Auburn.”

The Sparks said they will conduct a national search for a coach as well as a general manager.

Williams has a 139-169 record as a WNBA coach. He also had stints with the Utah Starzz (1999-2001), Atlanta Dream (2012-13) and Tulsa Shock/Dallas Wings (2014-18).

“I am very grateful for the opportunity and time that I have had with the Los Angeles Sparks,” Williams said in the news release.

–Field Level Media

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