John Whisenant

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John Whisenant
Personal information
Born (1945-06-18) June 18, 1945 (age 73)
Gore, Oklahoma
Career information
CollegeConnors JC (1961–1963)
New Mexico State (1963–1965)
Coaching career1966–2012
Career history
As coach:
1966–1968Coffeyville CC (asst.)
1968–1972Arizona Western JC
1972–1979New Mexico (asst.)
1999–2001New Mexico Slam
2003–2006, 2009Sacramento Monarchs
2011–2012New York Liberty
Career highlights and awards

John Harold Whisenant Jr. (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).

Coaching career[edit]

After starting at Connors Junior College in Warner, Oklahoma, Whisenant transferred to New Mexico State University in 1963 and played two seasons, including a senior season leading the team at 13.1 points per game.[1]

Whisenant began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Coffeyville Community College in 1966; Coffeyville went 48–10 in his two years on staff. From 1968 to 1972, Whisenant was head coach at Arizona Western Junior College and led the school to three league championships and a cumulative 97–30 record.[1][2]

From 1972 to 1979, Whisenant was an assistant coach at New Mexico under Norm Ellenberger and helped New Mexico accumulate a record of 137–62 and two WAC championships.[1]

Whisenant began a business career focusing on real estate and horse racing after leaving the New Mexico coaching staff. He also coached his son's AAU team in Albuquerque and had a cumulative 176–16 record.[2]

From 1999 to 2001, Whisenant was head coach and vice president of basketball operations for the New Mexico Slam of the International Basketball League. The Slam went 51–35 in its two seasons of existence, including 38–26 in 1999–2000.[1][3]

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. 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 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.[4]

Outside of coaching, Whisenant is a partner in a commercial real estate firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d "John Whisenant". WNBA. Archived from the original on October 17, 2010. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Whisenant Merely Is on Loan to California". Albuquerque Journal. May 2, 2004. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Bill Laimbeer named general manager and head coach of WNBA's NY Liberty - NY Daily News". 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
  5. ^ "john whisenant". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2014-02-07.