I know that our two previous head coaches have received significantly larger applause from game to game in Key Arena than Brian Agler ever has received. It is something about which I have wondered. In the first year it was so obvious coming off the rabid cheering for Anne Donovan as the most successful female coach in the WNBA. I wrote that off at the time to the crowd needing to see him prove himself.
The numbers in Kevin's article make me wonder once again. Coach Agler is the most successful coach in Storm history by record. Coach Donovan only had one successful post season, though it did lead to a championship. What is preventing this crowd from recognizing this coach?
He is the first male coach in franchise history. While I know that many of our fans celebrated the success of our female coaches, I like to believe that our fan base is above withholding praise just because our coach is a man.
Coach can be rather formal and withdrawn with both the fans and the media. Seeing him work with players and other coaches proved to me that we fans DON'T get to see the real Brian Agler. I think this has led to a failure for the crowd to establish a personal connection with him. Coach Donovan was not much friendlier...but she did have success and the gender "bonus."
I think Coach Agler also likes to hide in the background a bit. His introduction by the PA announcer is more subdued than his predecessors and he tends to tuck himself away in the corner to make sure that the crowd focuses on the players. While I truly admire his choice, in some ways I think it has hurt the fan's relationship with him as their coach.
In the end, perhaps our fans are just fickle. Perhaps we won't accept and adore Coach Agler until he brings home a trophy. We adored Lin Dunn because she was adorable, and she brought the WNBA to our city. We loved Anne Donovan because she took this team to the next level, elevated our stars and brought home a championship trophy.
I ask you, Seattle...what does Brian Agler need to do to get a little more love from Storm fans?