The WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks Tuesday completed a management overhaul by naming Karen Bryant as chief administrative officer and general manager.
Sparks owner and managing partner Eric Holoman made the announcement, noting that Bryant will oversee both business and basketball operations for the three-time league champions.
Bryant joins Curt Miller, who was named coach in October, on the Sparks’ hierarchy. The two will combine to fill the coach and GM roles formerly held by Derek Fisher, who was fired from both posts in June with the team struggling.
A former top executive for the Seattle Storm, Bryant was originally hired by the Sparks in 2021 as a strategic adviser, and she later became interim president of business operations. In her previous roles with the Sparks, she led the search to hire team President Vanessa Shay and Miller, and closed a jersey patch sponsorship with UCLA Health.
After helping guide the Storm to WNBA titles in 2004 and 2010 during a 15-year run with the team, Bryant co-founded KB2 Sports — an advisory company focused on growing and advancing women’s sports. Her sports management career began in 1998, when she was named GM of the ABL’s Seattle Reign at age 30.
“Karen Bryant is a talented and veteran sports executive with a track record of building successful organizations from top to bottom,” Holoman said in statement.
“Since joining the Sparks, she has established a bold vision and a strong foundation for long-term growth throughout the franchise. I’m confident her executive leadership, in partnership with head coach Curt Miller and President Vanessa Shay, will lead to sustainable success on and off the court.”
Bryant said she is “honored” by her new roles.
“I’m really excited to partner with Curt, Vanessa and the rest of our team to usher in a new era of Sparks basketball,” she said in a statement. “We are committed to building a culture and organization that is representative of the incredible legacy this franchise carries. I want to thank Eric Holoman and our ownership group for this opportunity and their continued investment in the Sparks and the WNBA.”
Miller, a two-time WNBA Coach of the Year, spent the last seven seasons as head coach of the Connecticut Sun, compiling a regular-season record of 140-86. He was general manager for six of those seasons with the Sun. He also was an assistant coach for the Sparks in 2015.
A rebuilding process is ahead for the new Sparks’ leadership.
The team started the 2022 season with a 5-7 record before firing Fisher on June 7 and naming assistant coach Fred Williams as interim head coach. The team finished 13-23 — 11th in the 12-team league.