Walt Hopkins out as New York Liberty coach after two seasons

The New York Liberty are looking for a new coach as Walt Hopkins is out as coach of the franchise after two seasons.

"We thank Walt for his spirit and commitment over the last two seasons," the team said in a statement posted to Twitter.

Hopkins, 36, was hired in January 2020 to take over for Katie Smith, whose contract was not renewed.

The Liberty got No. 1 pick Sabrina Ionescu of Oregon in 2020, but she was injured three games into that season and didn't play the rest of the way in the WNBA's bubble in Bradenton, Florida. New York finished the 2020 season in last place at 2-20.

This past season, the Liberty made the playoffs at 12-20 but won just one of their last nine regular-season games. They lost a single-elimination first-round playoff game to Phoenix, which went on to the WNBA Finals.

The other 2021 highlight for New York was having the Rookie of the Year in Michaela Onyenwere, the No. 6 pick out of UCLA.

Hopkins, who came to New York after being an assistant with the Minnesota Lynx, was the first WNBA coaching hire by Liberty owner Joseph Tsai, who bought the team in 2019. He is also owner of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets.