|Role:||Former Head coach of WNBA Team Indiana Fever|
Lin Dunn is one of those special coaches that comes along once in a blue moon. Throughout her career, she has fought for equality and change. Denied the opportunity to play college basketball because a women’s program didn’t exist when she was at Tennessee-Martin in the late 1960s, Dunn began coaching at Austin Peay in 1970, prior to Title IX legislation. Dunn coached Purdue to the 1994 Final Four, has coached in the Olympics and world championships and won a WNBA title with the Fever in 2012. One of the most accomplished women’s basketball coaches in history and a pioneer for women in sports.
Lin (born May 10, 1947) is an American women’s basketball coach. She is most known for being the first coach and general manager for the Seattle Storm. She has more than 500 wins to her name.
The 1969 University of Tennessee at Martin graduate coached for decades in the college ranks, amassing a 447-257 record in 25 seasons as a college head coach. In her tenure at Austin Peay State University (1970–1976), the University of Mississippi (1977–1978), the University of Miami (1978–1987) and Purdue University (1987–1996), she made the NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Championship seven times, and the Final Four once, in 1994 with Purdue. She is in the Athletics Hall of Fame at both Austin Peay and Miami. Dunn also was president of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association in 1984-85.
Dunn was abruptly fired at Purdue after the 1995-96 season, but resurfaced in the pros with the American Basketball League’s Portland Power in 1996. She was ABL’s coach of the year in 1998, right before that league folded. Dunn then became the first coach and GM of the expansion Seattle Storm in the ABL’s rival, the WNBA. Her folksy southern personality was a hit in Urbane, Seattle, with fans often wearing Dunn masks and quoting her rustic aphorisms. The team started with a dismal 6-26 season.
Dunn left the Storm just as it was starting to have success. New superstars Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird led the team to the 2002 playoffs, where they were swept by the Los Angeles Sparks. Dunn then resigned, leaving the path open for Anne Donovan to build a championship team just two seasons later.
Dunn is a former head coach of the Indiana Fever. Dunn won the WNBA championship with the Fever on October 21, 2012.
On May 6, 2014, Dunn announced her retirement from coaching at the end of the year.
On June 14, 2014; Dunn was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
In 1990, Dunn was the assistant coach for the USA National team at the World Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The team, behind the 22 point per game scoring of Teresa Edwards, won all eight contests, with only the win over Cuba decided by single digits. The USA team faced Yugoslavia in the gold medal game, and won 88–78.
In 1995, Dunn served as the head coach to the R. William Jones Cup Team. The competition was held in Taipei, Taiwan. The USA team won its first six games, but four of the six were won by single-digit margins. Their seventh game was against Russia, and they fell 100–84. The final game was against South Korea, and a victory would assure the gold medal, but the South Korean team won 80–76 to win the gold medal. The USA team won the bronze medal.
Back in May 2015, the FCN was lucky enough to interview Lin on her amazing career and ask her thoughts about the constant fight for equality in the sporting World. To read the full interview CLICK HERE
In December 2015, Lin spoke with the presenter of the podcast ‘Coach and a Whistle’ about her life and coaching career. To listen CLICK HERE