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Phoenix Mercury hiring Vanessa Nygaard as next head coach, sources say

Vanessa Nygaard replaces Sandy Brondello, who didn’t have her contract renewed last month.

PHOENIX — A person familiar with the hire has told The Associated Press that the Phoenix Mercury have hired former Las Vegas Aces assistant Vanessa Nygaard as their next head coach. 

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the hire won’t be officially announced until Monday. 

Nygaard replaces Sandy Brondello, who didn’t have her contract renewed last month after eight seasons and taking the Mercury to the 2021 WNBA Finals.

A native of Scottsdale, Arizona, Nygaard was an assistant coach with the Las Vegas Aces in 2021. 

She’s also been an assistant coach for USA Basketball and the WNBA’s San Antonio Stars and Washington Mystics.

Arizona sports 

The city of Phoenix is home to five major professional sports league teams; The NFL's Arizona Cardinals, NBA's Phoenix Suns, WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, MLB's Arizona Diamondbacks and NHL's Arizona Coyotes.  

The Cardinals have made the State Farm Stadium in Glendale their home turf and the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix is home to both the Suns and the Mercury. The Indoor Football League’s Arizona Rattlers also play at the Footprint. Phoenix has a soccer team with the USL's Phoenix Rising FC. 

The Valley hosts multiple major sporting events on a yearly basis, including college football's Fiesta Bowl and Cactus Bowl; the PGA Tour’s highest-attended event, the Waste Management Phoenix Open; NASCAR events each spring and fall; and Cactus League Spring Training. 


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