The Phoenix Mercury have added lots of experience to their coaching staff with this latest move. Kristi Toliver is now the associate head coach.
Welcome to The Valley Associate Head Coach, Kristi Toliver! 🌵
— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) December 1, 2023
Always Been A Baller
The Virginia native was a standout player in high school. In 2005 she won the Gatorade Virginia State Player of the Year award along with being named a McDonald’s All-American.
She played her college basketball at the University of Maryland. Toliver continued her standout play there as she helped lead the Terrapins to the first national championship in the history of their women’s basketball program. After her stellar collegiate career Toliver was drafted by the Chicago Sky with the third overall pick in the 2009 WNBA draft.
Toliver only played one year with the Sky before being traded to the Los Angeles Sparks. She really took off there as her role increased. Toliver’s best season as a pro was in 2012. She averaged 17.5 points per game , 4.9 assists per game, shot 49% from the field and 42% from three point range.
In 2013 she was selected to her first WNBA all-star team. She would get two more all-star appearances but as a Washington Mystic in 2018 and 2019. During her time in Washington she would also starting her coaching career.
In the 2019-20 season she was the assistant coach in charge of player development for the Washington Wizards. The next season she continued her role as an assistant coach for the Wizards. Prior to the 2022-23 season she was hired as an assistant coach for the Dallas Mavericks.
Toliver is not only a 14-year WNBA veteran but also has years under her belt in coaching. The combination of playing and coaching experience that Toliver has at the young age of 36 is rare. She should be an incredible asset to the Mercury as they look to turn things after a disappointing season in 2023.