The WNBA's Phoenix Mercury has made a significant addition to its coaching staff by announcing Kristi Toliver, a seasoned player and coach, as their new associate head coach. Toliver, renowned for her achievements both on and off the court, brings a wealth of experience to the Mercury.
Phoenix announced her hiring on Friday.
Kristi Toliver, who holds the distinction of being the first active player in WNBA history to also serve as an assistant coach in the NBA, has an impressive track record. Her journey in the WNBA includes stints with the Washington Mystics, Los Angeles Sparks and Chicago Sky, culminating in a career that spans 14 seasons.
During her time in the league, Toliver has been recognized as a three-time WNBA All-Star (2013, 2018, 2019) and has clinched two WNBA championships (2016, 2019). With career averages of 11.8 points and 3.4 assists per game, she is currently ranked seventh in the league's all-time three-point field goals. Her playoff experience is extensive, with nine appearances in her 14 seasons, including three WNBA Finals and five semifinals.
Toliver's impact extends beyond her playing career. She ventured into coaching while still an active player, breaking new ground in 2018 by becoming the first active WNBA player to take up an assistant coaching role in the NBA. She served under head coach Scott Brooks with the Washington Wizards from 2018 to 2020, before moving to the Dallas Mavericks. There, under the guidance of NBA Hall-of-Famer Jason Kidd, Toliver contributed to the Mavericks' journey to the Western Conference Finals in 2022.
Toliver's dual experience as a player and coach in both the WNBA and NBA provides her with a unique perspective and skill set, positioning her as a valuable asset to the Mercury's coaching team.