LOS ANGELES (Jan. 4, 2023) – Los Angeles Sparks Head Coach Curt Miller announced today his first additions to his 2023 coaching staff, hiring Chris Koclanes and Steve Smith as Assistant Coaches and Nola Henry as Player Development Coach.
Koclanes enters his eighth season in the WNBA, all with Coach Miller. Koclanes was originally brought onto Coach Miller’s staff with the Connecticut Sun as the team’s video and operations coordinator, before being promoted to assistant coach prior to the 2019 season. The past two seasons, Koclanes served as Defensive Coordinator, leading the Sun to a top-two defensive rating both years. Prior to his time as an assistant coach in Connecticut, the Pelham, New York native spent four seasons as the video coordinator for the USC women’s basketball program.
“Chris is an elite coach and teacher of the game,” Miller said. “He is widely respected around the league as one of the best and brightest in the WNBA. He is a huge addition to our staff and I am excited for our players to experience his passion and servant leadership.”
Smith, who brings over 25 years of experience in professional women’s basketball, rejoins the Sparks after previously coaching six seasons with LA under head coaches Orlando Woolridge (1998), Michael Cooper (2008-2009), Jen Gillom (2010), Penny Toler (2014), and Brian Agler (2015).
Smith has served as an assistant and scout for five WNBA organizations, including the Sparks, Phoenix Mercury, Detroit Shock, Connecticut Sun, and most recently, the Indiana Fever. Smith served on the 2015 Sparks staff alongside Coach Miller, and was then hired by Miller in Connecticut, where he was an assistant coach from 2016-2018.
“I am excited to reconnect and add Steve to our coaching staff,” said Miller. “As a veteran and respected assistant coach in our league, his experience and knowledge will be a huge asset for the Sparks. Steve has experienced success at all levels of basketball, but his heart and care for his players makes him truly special at building successful cultures.”
Henry, enters her third season in the WNBA, spending her previous two seasons in Connecticut as the Assistant Basketball Operations Manager. Prior to her time with the Sun, she spent three years as a Graduate Assistant at the University of Hartford, assisting with all aspects of the women’s basketball program.
“Coaches often talk about an it-factor, and that is how I feel about Nola Henry,” Miller said. “She is a young and talented coach with a unique ability to connect with players on and off the court. A true student of the pro game, Nola will be a vital piece of our staff.”
ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES SPARKS
Founded in 1996, the Los Angeles Sparks are one of three original franchises in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Sparks have won three WNBA Championships (2001, 2002, 2016), have qualified for the playoffs in 20 of their 26 seasons and remain the only active team in the league to win back-to-back titles. The Los Angeles Sparks are dedicated to ensuring each home game at Crypto.com Arena has a championship level entertainment experience while showcasing the best female athletes from around the world on the court. LA Sparks 2023 season tickets are available here for purchase.