Bill Laimbeer – 14th Season (1st in Las Vegas) – Notre Dame ’79
Overall Record: 229-170 (.574) | Playoff Record: 30-21 (.588)
Three-Time WNBA Champion (2003, 2006, 2008) | Two-Time WNBA Coach of the Year (2003, 2015)
Bill Laimbeer – The Coach
Bill Laimbeer, a two-time WNBA Coach of the Year and three-time WNBA Champion, enters his first season as President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach of the Las Vegas team.
In 2017, Laimbeer guided the New York Liberty to a third-straight 20-win season, the first time in franchise history the Liberty reached the 20-win plateau in three consecutive years. In line with Laimbeer’s intense, defense-driven coaching style, the Liberty led the WNBA in defensive field goal percentage (.408) for the third-straight season, which marked the first time in league history a team led the WNBA in defensive field goal percentage over a three-year span.
In 2017, New York posted the best record in the Eastern Conference, secured the No. 3 overall seed in the playoffs and earned a bye into the second round. However, the Liberty were eliminated in a second round,winner-take-all game by the Washington Mystics.
Prior to joining the New York Liberty, Laimbeer spent eight seasons (2002-09) as General Manager and Head Coach of the Detroit Shock (now Tulsa Shock), where he earned WNBA Coach of the Year honors in his first full season as head coach (2003). He took over a team that finished 9-23 the previous year and led them to a league-best 25 wins the following season. The 16-win improvement was the largest in WNBA history. Laimbeer led the Shock to a 137-93 (.596) overall record, including six-straight playoff appearances as the squad won the WNBA Championship in 2003, 2006 and 2008.
As General Manager of the Shock, Laimbeer made several key moves that were integral in Detroit capturing three WNBA Championships, which still stands as second-most in league history. In his first full season, Laimbeer drafted former All-Star and 2003 Rookie of the Year Cheryl Ford. He also acquired the Finals MVP that year, Ruth Riley, in the WNBA dispersal
Prior to returning to the WNBA, Laimbeer spent two seasons as an assistant in the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves (2009-2011).
Bill Laimbeer – The Player
A 14-year NBA veteran, Laimbeer was a four-time All-Star for the Detroit Pistons. As a member of the famed “Bad Boys,” Laimbeer totaled 13,790 points and 10,400 rebounds in his career, becoming only the 19th player in NBA history to eclipse 10,000 in both categories. A key member of back-to-back NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990, he had his No. 40 jersey retired by the franchise in 1995. Laimbeer played college ball at Notre Dame from 1975-79, graduating with a degree in economics in 1979.
Laimbeer and his wife Chris are parents to son Eric and daughter Keri.