January 04, 2007
Van Chancellor resigns

This comes as a surprise to me.

Houston Comets coach Van Chancellor has told FOX 26 sports that he has resigned after 10 years with the team.

Chancellor led the Comets to the first four WNBA championships and won the league's Coach of the Year award three straight times (1997-99). He had a 211-111 record with the Comets including 20-12 in the playoffs. He also coached Team USA to the Olympic Gold medal in 2004.

The 63-year-old Chancellor said the imminent salem of the team figured in his decision to step down. FOX 26 reported Tuesday that owner Les Alexander is close to an agreement to sell the team to furniture dealer Hilton Koch.

"With new ownership coming in, I want to step back and allow the new owners to take their own direction," Chancellor told FOX, "and this gives me a chance to spend time with my family and decide what I want to do in the future."

Chancellor wasn't the Comets' first choice as coach, as I recall, but he was clearly the right choice for them. As a Comets season ticket holder and longtime fan, I'm very sad to see this chapter in their history come to a close. I wish Coach Chancellor the best of luck in whatever he chooses to do next. I've got the press release from the team beneath the fold.

As for the sale of the franchise, which we first heard about in October:

WNBA sources tell FOX 26 Sports that Houston Comets owner Leslie Alexander has entered into an exclusive negotiating window to sell the team to Houston businessman Hilton Koch of Hilton Furniture.

League sources tell FOX the two sides are close to an agreement in principle but there are still some issues that must be resolved before the deal is consumated.

No purchase figures were available but the Los Angeles Sparks recently sold for $10 million.

I tend to think of Hilton Koch as a poor man's Mattress Mac. Same kind of goofball live-action-cartoon character, same kind of cheesy TV ads (Mac's look slick by comparison), same love of sports. Hey, if he plays his cards right he could be the Mark Cuban of the WNBA, with a slightly better haircut. This ought to be interesting, that's for sure. There's more on both stories in the Chron.

On a related note, the WNBA is down to 13 teams as the Charlotte Sting close their doors. I really like this league, and I like taking Olivia to its games, but I sure wish I were seeing more positive trends for its business model. Alas.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 04, 2007 to Other sports | TrackBack

I wonder if Van's resignation one of the stipulations of the Hilton deal?

Posted by: Vernon Guy on January 4, 2007 1:25 PM

He ain't a poor mans Matress Mac, he is a quality person whom doesn't nedd the nose candy to maintain his energy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Myth on February 14, 2007 11:10 PM