Sparks hire Carol Ross as coach

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Sparks have hired Atlanta Dream assistant Carol Ross as their new coach, replacing Joe "Jellybean" Bryant.

Bryant, the father of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, began his second stint as head coach in July after Jennifer Gillom was dismissed.

Ross spent the past three seasons with Atlanta, which reached the WNBA Finals in 2010 and 2011.

Before joining the WNBA, Ross spent 12 seasons coaching Florida, where she guided current Sparks forward DeLisha Milton-Jones, and four seasons at Mississippi, her alma mater.

She had a 324-161 record in 16 seasons at the Division I level, with 12 NCAA tournament appearances and two WNIT berths.

Sparks star Candace Parker, limited to 17 games last season because of knee injury, knows Ross from her college career at Tennessee.