CHICAGO – His arrival would bring about a new era of the franchise, one that finally brought them a Women’s National Basketball Association championship.
James Wade did that in his fourth season at the helm of the Sky not only as the head coach but also general manager, garnering league honors for both in a given year while establishing Chicago as one of the best teams in the WNBA.
It’s for that reason that the Sky want to make sure Wade is around for a few more years.
On Wednesday, the franchise gave the head coach and general manager a contract extension through the 2025 season. This move came less than 24 hours after the Sky beat the Liberty in the decisive Game 3 of their first round playoff series at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“We are thrilled and privileged to extend James’ contract with the Sky,” said Sky owner Michael Alter in a statement released by the team. “In a very short time, he has proven to be one of the best coaches and executives in the league. He has done an amazing job creating and leading the championship culture of the Sky, where players play hard and unselfishly for each other.
“We look forward to many more incredible championship seasons under his leadership.”
Since joining the Sky both as a general manager and head coach in 2019, he’s led the team to the playoffs in all four seasons. He’s been named the WNBA Coach of the Year (2019) and Basketball Executive of the Year (2022) joining Cheryl Reeve as the only peopl in league history to have earned that honor.
His .597 win percentage is the highest for any coach in Sky history as he’s gone 74-50 during his time on the sidelines. In 2021, Wade led the Sky to their first WNBA championship and then was able to retain the core while adding All-Star Emma Meesseman along with All-Rookie selection Rebecca Gardner.
The result was a franchise-best 26-10 regular season record as the team earned the second-overall seed in the WNBA playoffs.
“I’m very excited and pleased that the organization has entrusted me to lead this franchise and it’s very humbling to know that I get to coach this group of players and work in this great organization for an extended period of time,” said Wade in a statement. “I’m very honored and I feel very blessed.”