Claremore Daily Progress


January 24, 2014

WNBA: Fred Williams named Tulsa Shock head coach

TULSA — A glance over the Tulsa Shock roster was enough to convince Fred Williams to pursue the WNBA job.

''It was one of the key ingredients,'' Williams said Thursday after a press conference in which he was named the third head coach in the five years of the franchise. ''I remember thinking I like what I see. I know where we can go with this.''

Williams, who brings 30-plus years of coaching women's basketball, was one of 15 applicants for the job. In 2011, there were five candidates, said team president Steve Swetoha.

Williams replaces Gary Kloppenburg, who was 20-47 in two seasons. Williams guided the Atlanta Dream to the playoffs last season after a 17-17 regular season but was ultimately dismissed after losing to the Minnesota Lynx in the Finals.

In addition to his stint at Atlanta, Williams was head coach of the Utah Starzz (now the San Antonio Stars) from 1999-2001. He is 58-55 in WNBA regular season games, 5-6 in the postseason and has been to three WNBA Finals as a coach.

He also guided Southern California to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1983-84.

Williams said he is eager to get to work and excited to have players such as Liz Cambage, Glory Johnson, Tiffany Jackson-Jones, Skylar Diggins and Riquna Williams on the roster.

''What I saw in the Shock last year was a team that was hungry,'' he added. ''They were in a lot of games last year that just slipped away from them. I also saw passion in their eyes.

''Our roster with Liz Cambage, Glory Johnson, Tiffany Jackson-Jones, Candice Wiggins and Skylar Diggins allows us to do many things. We can go big in the frontcourt and we can go small.''

He assessed himself as an ''in-your-face'' guy.

''I've got passion, I've got drive,'' he said. ''I get into you. I have proven that.''

He prefers an up-tempo style of basketball.

''I like a fast-break team offensively, getting the ball up the floor, a lot of pick and roll, a lot of post-set plays,'' he said. ''The main thing is to play without fear and share the basketball. Defensively, every loose ball you have to go for. We are going to `Rock with the Shock.'''

Williams admitted it will take a ''lot of work'' to get the Shock competitive.

''I'm fired up and ready to go,'' he said.

Williams said he is already working on the WNBA draft which will be held later in the spring. He pointed to Maryland's Alyssa Thomas, Baylor's Odyssey Sims and Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike as the top draft picks.

Swetoha said Williams had all the criteria the search committee was looking for - a proven winner and WNBA experience. Other criteria included strong player development skills, leadership, understanding the game, basketball intelligence among others.

''Those attributes kept coming up whenever we talked about Fred,'' Swetoha said.


Text Only
  • DSC_0237web.jpg Hrdlicka, Teter pour ‘heart’ into Zebra soccer program

    For the past four years, Claremore High School seniors Katelin Teter and Nick Hrdlicka have represented the ‘heart and soul’ of the Lady Zebra and Zebra soccer programs.
    The soccer duo will join seven other seniors on Friday night for Homecoming against Collinsville at Lantow Field.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • DSC_0114web.jpg SOCCER: JV Lady Zebras edge Verdigris, 2-1

    Claremore sophomore forward Brylee Brasher may have felt a little out of position Monday night during the junior varsity game against Verdigris.
    Normally, starting in the goal for the Lady Zebras varsity team, Brasher came out of her comfort zone to start at forward for the Claremore JV.
    The position switch proved to be a great decision for head coach Robin Sutherland, as Brasher showed a tenacity on offense that led to Claremore’s 2-1 win over Verdigris.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hart: Vols hoops job still 'extremely attractive'

    Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart believes the criticism former men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin encountered this season won't hinder the Volunteers' search for a successor.

    April 17, 2014

  • BIG 12 MBB: Kansas State gives Weber 1-year contract extension

    Kansas State basketball coach Bruce Weber has received a one-year contract extension through the 2018-19 school year after leading the Wildcats to 47 wins in his first two seasons, the most victories by any coach in his first two years in school history.

    April 17, 2014

  • NCAA MEN'S BB: Manning completes Wake Forest coaching staff

    New Wake Forest basketball coach Danny Manning is bringing three members of his Tulsa coaching staff with him.

    April 17, 2014

  • NCAA MEN'S BB: Duke's Parker declares for NBA Draft

    Duke freshman Jabari Parker is entering the NBA draft.
    Coach Mike Krzyzewski says in a statement Thursday it was ''an honor for us to have him in our program.'' In an essay posted on, Parker says the NBA offers him the best chance to develop both as a player and off the court.

    April 17, 2014

  • NBA: Blake Griffin's 16th technical triggers 1-game suspension

    Blake Griffin has picked up his 16th technical foul of the season, triggering a league-mandated one-game suspension.

    April 17, 2014

  • NBA CAPSULES: Wizards top Celtics, clinch playoff berth

    Bradley Beal scored 27 points and Washington clinched the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 118-102 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.
    The Wizards will be facing Chicago in their first playoff appearance since 2008.

    April 17, 2014

  • Let the (real) games begin: It's NBA playoff time

    Finally, the NBA playoffs are set.
    It took the entire season to fill out those brackets.
    Overtime thrillers in Memphis and Charlotte, a go-ahead dunk in Oklahoma City to win a game and cap another scoring title for Kevin Durant, plus some good old-fashioned disinterest by Brooklyn ... all that, and more, on the final night of the season was needed before the eight conference-quarterfinal matchups in this season's NBA playoffs could be decided.

    April 17, 2014

  • Hopes high Negro Leagues stadium makes comeback

    The light touch of a paint roller is enough to dislodge a chunk of plaster from the crumbling walls of Hinchliffe Stadium.
    Though silent for decades, the former home of several Negro Leagues teams is getting another chance at bat as baseball's first National Historic Landmark.

    April 17, 2014