First 2,000 Fans To Receive Commemorative Necktie T-Shirts Inspired By Hughes’ Signature Staple
SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 12, 2016) – The San Antonio Stars will celebrate the career of head coach Dan Hughes in a postgame retirement ceremony when the team hosts its annual Fan Appreciation Game presented by Smile Kings Dental & Orthodontics on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 3:30 p.m. at the AT&T Center. Coach Hughes’ final game with the Stars will be against the Phoenix Mercury in the last game of the regular season, which will feature giveaways including necktie t-shirts inspired by Hughes’ signature game-night look for the first 2,000 fans.
Fans will have many opportunities throughout the game to receive additional items such as gift cards, coupons and free food from Academy, BurgerFi, Express Lube, Sea Island and more. Attendees will also have a chance to win a gift basket including dental supplies and a free dental whitening courtesy of Smile Kings Dental & Orthodontics.
“My basketball coaching career has been diverse – 20 years with men and 20 years with women at the high school, college and professional levels, and also with USA Basketball,” said Hughes. “I feel blessed to have spent 17 seasons in the WNBA in the formative years with three franchises in coaching and general manager roles. I have been so fortunate to develop lifelong relationships with former WNBA and NBA players, coaches, administrators and fans.
“San Antonio has been a special place for my family, and I thank everyone that crossed our path in our journey here. So many memories and people have touched my heart. I am humbled and so grateful to have been a part of Spurs Sports & Entertainment and the San Antonio community. I am proud to be a basketball lifer and look forward to a new stage of my career, but will cherish every day I walked through the community as the Stars head coach.”
The Stars will honor Hughes in a postgame retirement ceremony that celebrates the four pillars of his basketball career and life off the court – faith, family, basketball and music – as he completes his 12th season with the Stars.
“Dan has had a tremendous positive impact on our organization and the development of our WNBA franchise,” said Rick Pych, Spurs Sports & Entertainment President and CEO. “We are grateful for the 12 seasons he dedicated to guiding our players and staff as a mentor, head coach and general manager, while also serving as an outstanding leader in our community. As great of a coach as Dan is, he is an even better person. We will all sincerely miss him.”
A two-time WNBA Coach of the Year (2001, 2007), Hughes spent 17 years in the league as a general manager and 16 seasons as a head coach – with the Charlotte Sting, the Cleveland Rockers and San Antonio Stars. He owns the record for the most games coached (521) and ranks second in wins (236) among WNBA head coaches, while leading his teams to 10 playoff appearances, four Western Conference Finals and one WNBA Finals. He is the only coach in WNBA history to take three different franchises to the playoffs. Hughes guided the 2008 Stars to a 24-10 mark, earning the best record in the league, the franchise’s first Western Conference Championship and its first trip to the WNBA Finals. San Antonio announced a succession plan in April that named Ruth Riley general manager as Hughes remained the Stars head coach for the 2016 season.
In his role as general manager, Hughes was responsible for assembling the foundation of the Stars franchise. He orchestrated the 2007 trade that brought seven-time WNBA All-Star and WNBA Top 15 honoree Becky Hammon to the Alamo City and picked four-time WNBA All-Star and three-time All-WNBA selection Sophia Young-Malcolm in the 2006 WNBA Draft.
“The WNBA is celebrating its 20th season largely because coaches like Dan have been committed to and invested in making our league a success on and off the court,” said Riley. “From the players on his roster, to his extensive coaching tree and the relationships in the community, it is impossible to quantify the impact Dan has made in the WNBA. While we are faced with challenge of replacing Dan’s presence on the Stars’ bench, a position he has masterfully occupied for over a decade, we are fortunate that his legacy will carry on in the culture that he has created here in San Antonio.”
In addition to his duties in San Antonio, Hughes has served as a member of the five-person USA Basketball Selection Committee for the 2010 and 2014 World Championships, as well as the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Hughes also serves as a selection committee member for the Kay Yow Award.
“On behalf of the WNBA, I would like to congratulate Dan on a tremendous career,” said WNBA President Lisa Borders. “Dan’s legacy of coaching and mentorship will continue to influence the game of basketball for decades to come.”
Tickets for Sunday’s game are available online at SAStars.com or ticketmaster.com, by phone at (210) 225-TEAM, and at the AT&T Center Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on weekend event days five hours prior to tipoff. The 2016 San Antonio Stars season is presented by H-E-B.