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Mercury adding ASU’s legendary coach Charli Turner Thorne as assistant

Via @PhoenixMercury/ Twitter

Interim Phoenix Mercury coach Nikki Blue is adding legendary Arizona State women’s basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne as an assistant, the team announced today.

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Turner Thorne is a year removed from retiring as the Arizona State coach on March 3, 2022 after 25 seasons with the team and having one of the most decorated careers as a coach in any sport in Arizona history.

Per Turner Thorne’s ASU bio:

“The winningest coach in ASU women’s basketball history and No. 2 all-time in career wins (488) by a Pac-12 coach, Charli Turner Thorne oversaw the establishment of Sun Devil Women’s Basketball as a perennial national power. The two-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year, Turner Thorne led ASU to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, three Pac-12 championships (two regular season titles and the league’s first tournament title in 2002) and the program’s only two NCAA Elite Eight appearances The outstanding success ASU enjoyed under Turner Thorne is a 180-degree difference from the program she took over that had an aggregate record of 20-60 in the three years prior to her arrival and only two NCAA Tournament wins in its history.”

Blue served an assistant for Turner Thorne from 2019-2022 before becoming the interim coach of the Mercury following the firing of Vanessa Nygaard.

“Charli is one of the top coaches in women’s basketball – a proven winner – and I am excited to be able to coach alongside her again,” Blue said. “She brings more than 28 years of experience to the Mercury, and will be invaluable in providing our players with every opportunity to improve individually and as a team.”

Blue said that she was in consideration for the ASU head coaching position after Turner Thorne’s retirement, but now things come full circle for the two.

The Mercury currently sit at 3-11, but just picked up their first win under Blue last night. Turner Thorne’s pedigree and experience might bring the spark that the struggling team needs right now.

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Brendan Mau is a college sports insider and general assignment reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on Twitter via @Brendan_Mau

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