Pokey Chatman

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Pokey Chatman
Pokey Chatman WNBA.jpg
Indiana Fever
PositionHead coach / General manager
Personal information
Born (1969-06-18) June 18, 1969 (age 50)
Ama, Louisiana
Career information
High schoolHahnville (Boutte, Louisiana)
CollegeLSU (1987–1991)
Coaching career1992–present
Career history
As coach:
1992–2004LSU (assistant)
2011–2016Chicago Sky
2016–presentIndiana Fever

Dana "Pokey" Chatman (born June 18, 1969)[1] is the current head coach of the Indiana Fever of the WNBA.[2] She is also 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.

Chatman resigned from her post at LSU on March 7, 2007 amid allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a former player that were alleged to have begun when Chatman was coaching the player.[3]


High school career[edit]

Chatman was born in Ama, Louisiana, played point guard at Hahnville High School and was a five-time AAU All-American. She is recognized for scoring the first 3 point shot in a high school game for the state of louisiana.

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 statistics[edit]


  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year Team GP Points FG% FT% RPG PPG
1987-88 LSU 29 290 38.2% 81.8% 3.3 10.0
1988-89 LSU 30 485 43.7% 83.9% 3.6 16.2
1989-90 LSU 30 475 41.5% 84.5% 3.6 15.8
1990-91 LSU 31 576 43.7% 80.7% 4.3 18.6
TOTALS 120 1826 42.1% 82.7% 3.7 15.2

LSU coaching career[edit]

After serving as a student assistant with the Lady Tigers for a season (1991–1992), Chatman was named a full-fledged assistant coach before the 1992–1993 season. She was promoted to associate head coach in 1999. In 2003–2004, head coach Sue Gunter took a medical leave of absence in the middle of the season. Chatman, in her 14th season on the coaching staff, 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. In the 2005–2006 season, the Lady Tigers finished with a 31–4 record, captured their 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,[5] the 2005 Russell/WBCA National Coach of the Year;[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] Ultimately, LSU and Chatman settled out of court for $160,000.[10]


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.[11] She was let go by the Sky in October 2016.[2]

Indiana Fever[edit]

On November 18, 2016, Chatman was announced as the new head coach of the Indiana Fever. She assumed the role after Stephanie White left to accept the head coaching job at Vanderbilt.

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.[12]

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.[13]

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
LSU (SEC) (1990–1997)
2003–04 LSU (interim) 15–5 8–4 2nd NCAA Final Four
2004–05 LSU 33–3 14–0 1st NCAA Final Four
2005–06 LSU 31–4 13–1 1st NCAA Final Four
2006–07 LSU 26–7 10–4 T-3rd Resigned before NCAA Tournament
LSU: 105–19 (.847) 45–9 (.833)
Total: 105–19 (.847)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
CHI 2011 34 14 20 .412 5th in East - - - - Missed Playoffs
CHI 2012 34 14 20 .412 5th in East - - - - Missed Playoffs
CHI 2013 34 24 10 .706 1st in East 2 0 2 .000 Lost Eastern Conference Semi-Finals
CHI 2014 34 15 19 .441 4th in East 9 4 5 .444 Lost WNBA Finals
CHI 2015 34 21 13 .618 2nd in East 3 1 2 .333 Lost Eastern Conference Semi-Finals
CHI 2016 34 18 16 .529 2nd in East 5 2 3 .333 Lost WNBA Semi-Finals
IND 2017 34 9 25 .265 6th in East - - - - Missed Playoffs
IND 2018 34 6 28 .176 6th in East - - - - Missed Playoffs
Career 272 121 151 .445 19 7 12 .368


  1. ^ "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved 25 Sep 2015.
  2. ^ a b Chicago Tribune staff (October 28, 2016). "Sky fire head coach Pokey Chatman". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  3. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/ncw/news/story?id=2840260
  4. ^ "LSU Media Guide" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  5. ^ "USBWA WOMEN'S HONORS". USBWA. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  6. ^ "Past Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coaches of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 30 Jun 2014.
  7. ^ AOL. "http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/03/12/pokey-chatmans-assistant-told-lsu-about-relationship/". AOL.com. Retrieved 2017-09-07. External link in |title= (help)
  8. ^ "LSU's Starkey adamant about not wanting head job - USATODAY.com". usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  9. ^ Chatman's attorney: LSU forced resignation
  10. ^ LSU, ex-hoops coach Chatman agree to $160K settlement. ESPN, 2007-06-15
  11. ^ "Former LSU coach Chatman to run WNBA's Sky". ESPN.com. 2010-10-29. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  12. ^ "FIRST WOMEN'S JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING TEAM – 1988". USA Basketball. Retrieved 15 Oct 2013.
  13. ^ "TWENTY-SECOND WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES – 2005". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 29 April 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.

External links[edit]