Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/21/13
The Lynx have lost their most senior veteran to the New York Liberty but fortunately for Minnesota, she won't be preparing to face them come the start of the WNBA season. The Liberty announced Thursday that it hired Taj McWilliams-Franklin, 42, as one of its assistant coaches for the 2013 season. McWilliams-Franklin spent the 2010 season with New York, and she also played for new Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer in Detroit in 2008 and 2009. McWilliams-Franklin's retirement hardly came as a surprise to the Lynx. The forward declined to play overseas this winter, instead assuming a spot on the coaching staff of the women's team at Rice University in Houston. In February, coach Cheryl Reeve would not confirm that McWilliams-Franklin had officially retired, but she spoke at length about the team's plans to move on to fill her spot. The Lynx went further in that direction when they signed center Janel McCarville on March 1. "I am ecstatic about this opportunity with Coach Laimbeer and the New York Liberty," McWilliams-Franklin said in a statement released by the Liberty. "I feel that coaching is a natural extension of what I have done during my playing career and look forward to matching wits with some of basketball's greatest coaching minds during the season. I am looking forward to this challenge as everyone in and around the Liberty organization start preparations to bring the long awaited WNBA title to New York." At 42, McWilliams-Franklin was the oldest player on the Lynx as well as in the NBA, just four years her coach's junior. Despite that, the 14-year WNBA veteran started 66 games for the Lynx over her two seasons with the team and played an integral part in its two trips to the WNBA Finals and its 2011 championship. She will retire having started the most games of any player in WNBA history (436), and she ranks second all-time in rebounds, with 3,013. Barbara Ferris, who played in the WNBA from 2000-09, was hired along with McWilliams-Franklin. "I wanted assistant coaches that played the game and understand what championship teams are all about," Laimbeer said in a statement. "Taj and Barb are both familiar with my coaching style and know what it takes to win a championship. I believe the players will get a great education from them as well as great camaraderie." Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Joe Mixon drafted by Bengals; fans boo pick

Vikings land Adrian Peterson’s replacement, trade up for Dalvin Cook

WATCH: Kris Bryant launches moonshot completely out of Fenway Park

Kevin King, alone in green room, taken first in Round 2 by Packers

Felix Hernandez, Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks for Mariners

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

CFL fines head coach for meeting with Johnny Manziel rep

Reuben Foster hung up on Saints when 49ers called him

Packers ‘taking calls’ for No. 33 pick in draft

Bears confirm that Mike Glennon is their starter for the 2017 season

Report: Jets making calls trying to trade Sheldon Richardson

Broncos players take to Twitter to call for team to sign Gary Barnidge

The 'Beast Mode as a parting gift' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: Don't sleep on the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Our favorite undrafted players of all time

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Kicking it: Orlando surges while the Galaxy struggles

Three Up, Three Down: Madison Bumgarner gets grounded

Box Score 4/28: NFL Draft gets younger every year

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Don't sleep on the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The 'Beast Mode as a parting gift' quiz

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Our favorite undrafted players of all time

Kicking it: Orlando surges while the Galaxy struggles

Three Up, Three Down: Madison Bumgarner gets grounded

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker