On his request, San Antonio Stars head coach and general manager Dan Hughes will step down following the 2016 season, the team announced on Wednesday afternoon. Ruth Riley has been named the Stars General Manager and she will take on the role immediately.
Riley will be mentored by Hughes during the 2016 season and together they both will help find the next Stars head coach.
“I have truly enjoyed every moment of my 16 years in the WNBA, but I reached a point personally and professionally where it’s time for a change,” Hughes said in a statement. “We are fortunate to add Ruth Riley. She is very bright, knows the women’s game well and has a drive and passion to succeed. The future of the Stars is in good hands and I look forward to assisting her as she learns her new role. I’m excited for my final season with the Stars and will be forever thankful to our players and coaches, the great employees at SS&E and our wonderful fans for all of the support my family and I have received here in San Antonio during the last decade.”
Hughes will leave the WNBA after 16 seasons and 10 playoff appearances, four Western Conference Finals and one WNBA Finals appearance. He led the Stars to their best record in franchise history at 24-10 in 2008 along with the first Western Conference Championship and their lone WNBA Finals appearance.
Riley played 13 seasons in the WNBA before retiring in 2014. She won two WNBA titles with the then-Detroit Shock in 2003 and 2006 before being traded to Silver Stars in 2007. She played for the Silver Stars from 2007-11 and was awarded the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award in 2011.
“Spurs Sports & Entertainment is grateful to Dan Hughes for his 11 seasons at the helm of the San Antonio Stars. He is a pioneer in the women’s game and one of the most respected leaders in the WNBA. We fully support his decision to step away and we’re fortunate that he’ll be with us for one more season,” said R.C. Buford, President of Sports Franchises. “Ruth Riley is a great fit for the Stars. It’s a wonderful opportunity to have Dan here to help Ruth learn the WNBA and we are very excited for the future of the Stars franchise under her leadership.”
The Stars may not have to look far for their next head coach. Vickie Johnson has been Hughes’ assistant for the previous three seasons.
The Stars open the regular season on May 14 at 7 p.m. against the Atlanta Dream at the AT&T Center.