Petersen steps down as coach of Dream for health reasons

July 25, 2021 GMT

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Dream interim head coach Mike Petersen stepped down because of health reasons Saturday night and will be replaced by assistant Darius Taylor.

“For health reasons that the grind of the WNBA season will not allow me to adequately address, I have decided to step down from my coaching duties with the Dream,” Petersen said in a statement. “I want to thank the Atlanta Dream players, staff and ownership for the opportunity to be part of an amazing organization.”

Petersen took over the head coaching spot a week before the start of the season when Nicki Collen left to become Baylor’s head coach. He was an assistant with the team since 2018 and has coached basketball for nearly 40 years at a variety of levels.

He will move into an advisory role for the team’s front office.

“It has been a pleasure working with and getting to know Coach Mike,” Dream majority owner Larry Gottesdiener said. “We appreciate his willingness to step up and take on the role of head coach this season and everything he has done for the team. His experience and leadership will continue to be a benefit to the organization as he transitions to his new role.”


The Dream were 6-13 in the first half of the season. They will return to practice on July 28.

It’s been a difficult month for the franchise with the team indefinitely suspending guard Chennedy Carter right before the Olympic break because of “conduct detrimental to the team.” The No. 4 pick in the 2020 draft averaged 14.2 points and 3.4 assists this season while playing in 11 of the team’s 19 games.

She suffered an elbow injury on May 29 and didn’t return to game action until June 23.