Stars hire Vickie Johnson for her first head-coaching job

The San Antonio Stars, who have finished with the worst record in the WNBA for the past two seasons, have named Vickie Johnson as their next head coach.

The contract is for one year, a source told ESPN.

"Having spent 10 years in San Antonio, first as a player, then as an assistant coach, this city feels like home," Johnson said in a statement. "Our Stars players are young, talented and hardworking. We also have a dedicated fan base in a great basketball town, and I'm looking forward to getting to work this spring when we tip off our 15th season in San Antonio."

This is Johnson's first head-coaching opportunity, as she has spent the past six seasons as an assistant with the Stars.

Johnson replaces Dan Hughes, who had announced that he would step down as Stars coach after the 2016 season. That succession plan began in April, when Ruth Riley was hired to be the team's general manager, a position Hughes held in addition to his head-coaching duties.

Hughes left as the second-winningest WNBA head coach with 237 victories.

"Coach Johnson's experience, passion for teaching, fierce competitive spirit and commitment to our organization made her the perfect candidate to lead our team moving forward," Riley said in a statement.

Johnson, who played 13 seasons in the WNBA with the New York Liberty and the Stars, is one of seven players in league history to rank in the top 30 in career points, rebounds and assists, along with Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Lisa Leslie, Taj McWilliams-Franklin, DeLisha Milton-Jones and Lindsay Whalen.

Johnson will make her head-coaching debut May 13 against the Liberty in Madison Square Garden, where she is one of six players in the New York Liberty Ring of Honor.

"It's very fitting for me to coach my first game vs. New York in the Garden," Johnson said. "That's where I started. I love New York and the Liberty. I'm very excited beyond words, still speechless."

The Stars, who finished 7-27 in 2016, will have the No. 1 pick in the 2017 WNBA draft. Johnson said the team's biggest need is to pick up a post player.

"I came here with a vision in 2006 as a player to build this franchise to win a championship. We fell short of that, but we were able to compete in the Western Conference finals," Johnson said. "Now I'm blessed to have the opportunity to coach this team I love so much."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.