Pokey Chatman

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Pokey Chatman
Pokey Chatman WNBA.jpg
WNBA's Chicago Sky
Coach and General Manager
Born (1969-06-18) June 18, 1969 (age 45)
Ama, Louisiana
Nationality American
College LSU
WNBA career 2011–present
Profile WNBA coach profile
WNBA head coach of
Chicago Sky (2011–present)
Coaching record
Regular season 67–69 (.493)
Postseason 4–7 (.364)

Dana "Pokey" Chatman (born June 18, 1969) is the current general manager and head coach of the Chicago Sky of the WNBA. She is the former head coach of the LSU Lady Tigers basketball team and the Spartak Moscow women's basketball team.

Chatman spent the first 20 years of her adult life at LSU as a player (1987-1991), student assistant (1991-1992), assistant coach (1992-2004) and head coach (2004-2007). After succeeding longtime coach Sue Gunter in 2004, Chatman led the Lady Tigers to three consecutive NCAA Final Fours in 2004 (as acting head coach for the ailing Gunter), 2005, and 2006.

Notably, Chatman resigned from her post at LSU on March 7, 2007 amid allegations of inappropriate relationships with former players that were alleged to have begun when Chatman was coaching the players.[1]

Biography[edit]

High school career[edit]

She played point guard in high school and was a 5-time AAU All-American.

LSU playing career[edit]

The 1991 Kodak All-American point guard played for Gunter from 1987 to 1991, starting all but one game and setting the all-time steals (346) and assists (570) records at LSU. Her assist record was broken in the 2003–2004 season by Temeka Johnson. Chatman played in the NCAA Tournament four times and posted a record of 82-38 as a player. She was a three-time All-SEC selection and led the Lady Tigers to their first ever SEC Tournament title in 1991, where she was the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).

LSU coaching career[edit]

After serving as a student assistant with the Lady Tigers for a season (1991–1992), Chatman was named assistant coach before the 1992–1993 season. In 2003–2004 – her 13th season as a Lady Tiger coach (fifth as associate coach) – Gunter took a medical leave of absence in the middle of the season, and Chatman was named interim coach. She led the Tigers to a 15–5 record (27–8 overall) and the first Final Four in school history. However, LSU credits the entire season to Gunter.

By the end of the season, it was obvious that Gunter would not be able to return. She announced her retirement on April 27, and Chatman was named the fourth head coach in school history.

Head coach[edit]

In Chatman’s first season as head coach, she led the Lady Tigers to a 33–3 record, an undefeated SEC regular season title (14–0), and the program’s second consecutive Final Four, falling to eventual national champion Baylor in the semifinals. The 2005–2006 season was no different, as the Lady Tigers finished with a 31–4 record, captured its second consecutive SEC regular season title (13–1), and reached their third straight Final Four, this time losing to Duke. Chatman’s 47–3 record is the second best record through 50 games in women’s basketball history. Only Hall of Fame coach Leon Barmore, the former Louisiana Tech head coach, had a better record (48–2).

Chatman won numerous awards, including the Black Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2005; the 2005 USBWA National Coach of the Year,[2] the 2005 Russell/WBCA National Coach of the Year;[3] the 2005 Naismith National Coach of the Year; the 2005 Victor Award Female Coach of the Year; the 2005 SEC Coach of the Year; and the 2005 Louisiana Coach of the Year.

In 2005, Chatman served as the assistant coach for the USA Women’s World University Games Team, which won the gold medal. Chatman also won a medal as a player on the 1990 USA Select Team.

Chatman was inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame in 1998.

Resignation as LSU Head Coach[edit]

Chatman resigned as the head women's basketball coach at LSU on March 7, 2007 after school officials became aware of an alleged inappropriate sexual relationship between Chatman and a former player. Former LSU assistant coach Carla Berry, a college teammate of Chatman's, reported the alleged relationship to the university in February.[4] Assistant coach Bob Starkey was named interim coach and led the team during the 2007 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament, in which the Tigers made their fourth consecutive Final Four.[5]

Chatman claimed that after LSU learned about the alleged relationship, it conducted a cursory investigation before giving her an ultimatum—resign within two hours or be fired. She initially demanded to be paid the remaining $900,000 on her contract.[6] Ultimately, LSU and Chatman settled out of court for $160,000.[7]

Spartak[edit]

Pokey Chatman in Russia

In August 2007 she signed as assistant coach of the Women’s Basketball Club Spartak Moscow Region (who had just won the 2007 Euroleague Women's Final). Spartak won the next three championships and in 2010, as the head coach, Chatman led the team to a 16-0 Euroleague record and their fourth straight Euroleague Championship.

Chicago Sky[edit]

On October 29, 2010, Chatman was named the general manager and head coach of the Chicago Sky of the WNBA.[8]

USA Basketball[edit]

As player[edit]

Chatman was a member of the USA Women's U18 team which won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The event was known as the Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament at the time. The event was held in August 1988, when the USA team defeated the host team Brazil by a score of 70–68 to win the championship.[9]

As coach[edit]

Chatman served as an assistant coach of the USA Women's World University Games Team at the World University Games (also known as the Universiade) held in Izmir, Turkey in August 2005. The team won their first game against the Czech Republic 88–64; the 24-point margin in that contest would be the closest any team would come to beating the USA until the gold-medal final. After defeating South Africa, China, and Poland to move on to the quarterfinals, they then beat Taiwan and Russia – each by more than 50 points. This set up the championship game with Serbia & Montenegro which the USA won 79–63 to complete a 7–0 record and win the gold medal.[10]

Collegiate Head Coaching Record[edit]

Season Team Record NCAA Tournament
2003–2004 LSU 15-5 (acting head coach) Final Four
2004–2005 LSU 34-3 Final Four
2005–2006 LSU 31-4 Final Four
2006–2007 LSU 26-7 Resigned before NCAA Tournament
TOTALS
91-14 (106-19 including 2004)

References[edit]

External links[edit]