John Whisenant

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John Whisenant
Personal information
Born (1945-06-18) June 18, 1945 (age 71)
Gore, Oklahoma
Nationality American
Career information
College Connors State
New Mexico State
Coaching career 2003–2012
Career history
As coach:
2003–2006, 2009 Sacramento Monarchs
2011–2012 New York Liberty
Career highlights and awards

John Whisenant (born June 18, 1945) is an American former head coach for the Sacramento Monarchs and New York Liberty in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).[1] He graduated in 1966 with a B.S. degree in physical education from New Mexico State University and earned an M.A. in history from Pittsburg State University.


Whisenant's nickname is "Whiz". He started out as a basketball player at Connors State College and continued playing at New Mexico State University.

Whisenant began his coaching career at Coffeyville Community College where his record was 48–10 (83%). Afterwards he joined the coaching staff at the University of New Mexico where he would accumulate a record of 137–62 (69%) including two WAC championships. He later served as the vice president of basketball operations for the New Mexico Slam in the International Basketball League where his record was 51–35 (59%).

He spent four seasons as the head coach at Arizona Western University where he won three league championships at 97–30 (76%). Later he coached his son's team at the AAU level, where he dominated with a record of 176–16 (92%). While serving as a consultant for the Sacramento Kings under the Maloof family, he became the assistant manager for the Sacramento Monarchs. Whisenant became the general manager the following year, then took over as head coach in the middle of 2003. In 2005, he won the WNBA Coach of the Year Award and his Monarchs won the WNBA championship title over the Connecticut Sun - the first title for owners Joe and Gavin Maloof.

In light of the wide variety of players he has coached in his career - men and women, amateurs, college players and professionals - many admire Whisenant for his ability to achieve a winning record at all levels.

Sources have quoted Whisenant expressing no interest in the head coaching position for the National Basketball Association's Sacramento Kings. He did interview for the position, however, Eric Musselman was named the Kings' head coach on June 2, 2006. Whisenant later coached the Monarchs to its second straight Western Conference Championship title, by beating the Los Angeles Sparks. However, the team lost in the WNBA Finals to the Detroit Shock.

After his stint with the Sacramento Monarchs, Whisenant was coach and GM for the New York Liberty. On October 25, 2012, the Liberty announced that Whisenant would be leaving the team.[2]

Outside of coaching, Whisenant is a partner in a commercial real estate firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico.[3]


  1. ^ "LIBERTY: Laimbeer Named Head Coach & GM". 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  2. ^ "Bill Laimbeer named general manager and head coach of WNBA's NY Liberty - NY Daily News". 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  3. ^ "john whisenant". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 

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