CHICAGO -- The Chicago Sky today announced that Bo Overton has been named the new general manager and head coach of the team.
Overton has more than 20 years’ experience coaching men’s and women’s basketball, most recently as head coach at the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC), where he guided the women’s team to two conference tournament appearances and one title game berth in two seasons.
Overton is also a former assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Oklahoma. During his six-year tenure there, the Sooners won three Big 12 Conference regular-season titles, advanced to the NCAA Tournament four times, and appeared in the 2002 NCAA National Championship game.
“We talked to a lot of candidates about our coaching job and Bo is the best match for leading the Sky,” said Margaret Stender, president of the Chicago Sky. “I am so impressed with his passion for basketball, his understanding of the intricacies of the game and his proven ability to build and motivate a team.”
Overton is considered one of the top recruiters and talent evaluators in the country, and he aims to make an immediate impact on the Sky, particularly as the team has the third pick in the 2007 WNBA Rookie Draft in April 2007.
“Bo Overton is a perfect fit for the WNBA and the Chicago Sky,” said University of Oklahoma women’s basketball head coach Sherri Coale. “He was a great player and he coaches the game the same way he played it. He sees basketball through a player’s eyes, and he has a feel for things that happen on the floor that is just exceptional. He was an integral part of our building process here at Oklahoma and will be able to draw from those experiences as he builds the Chicago franchise. While Bo’s basketball pedigree speaks for itself, it is his ability to build personal relationships, whether it be with sponsors, season ticket holders, players, staff, or front office management, that will lay the foundation of success for the Chicago Sky.”
“The Sky has made an outstanding selection in Bo Overton,” said Doug Bruno, head coach of the DePaul women’s basketball team. “I think he’s one of basketball’s best-kept secrets. He has a deep and intuitive knowledge of the game and the x’s and o’s, and he knows how to get athletes working together. I’m thrilled to have him in Chicago.”
“I was born for this job,” said Overton. “I love the league, its dedicated and accomplished athletes and this beautiful city of Chicago. I can’t wait to get started.”
Overton began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Oklahoma men’s basketball program in 1983-84, followed by a year as an assistant coach with the Continental Basketball Association Pensacola Tornadoes and another with Oral Roberts University. He then landed his first head coaching position, at Murray State Junior College in Tishomingo, Okla.
After a two-year stay at MSJC, Overton returned to Oral Roberts to assist coach Ken Trickey. He remained with the Golden Eagles for two seasons before accepting an assistant coach position at Southwest Texas State under former Kansas State men's head coach Jim Wooldridge. Overton's and Wooldridge's working relationship extended over five years and two institutions, as the pair teamed up for one year at Southwest Texas and four years at Louisiana Tech (1994-98). Woolridge was assistant coach to Tim Floyd when he coached the Chicago Bulls.
“I was thrilled when I learned Bo would be coming to the Sky,” said Stacey Dales, Chicago Sky guard, who was coached by Overton when she played at Oklahoma and led the Sooners to the NCAA Championship game. “A strong basketball coach has intellect and ingenuity, a know-how for running productive practices and a confidence for guiding a team in varied game-time situations. A strong basketball player's coach is someone special, adding an ability to understand personalities and the composition of a season, with a knack for motivating. Bo is a player’s coach, with all of these qualities a perfect choice for our team, our fans, and our evolution as a franchise.”
As a player, Overton was a starting point guard for the Sooners from 1980-83, where he led the team in assists in his final three seasons. He still ranks third all-time. He was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in the 1983 NBA Draft and played and coached for the Pensacola Tornadoes of the CBA from 1984-85.