Former ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne joins Mercury staff

Jun 30, 2023, 11:28 AM

Charli Turner Thorne, ASU coach...

Arizona State head coach Charli Turner Thorne reacts to a foul against Oregon State during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Phoenix Mercury interim head coach Nikki Blue on Friday added former Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Charli Turner Thorne to her coaching staff.

“Charli is one of the top coaches in women’s basketball – a proven winner – and I am excited to be able to coach alongside her again,” Blue said in a release. “She brings more than 28 years of experience to the Mercury, and will be invaluable in providing our players with every opportunity to improve individually and as a team.”

Blue, who replaced the fired Vanessa Nygaard on Sunday, worked as an assistant under Turner Thorne from 2019-22 at Arizona State.

The Mercury (3-11) are coming off a win that snapped a six-game losing streak. Blue has led the team for the past two games.

Turner Thorne retired in March 2022 after a quarter-century leading the Sun Devil women. She joins Tully Bevilaqua and Taja Edwards on the assistant staff.

Turner Thorne began coaching ASU in the 1996-97 season and was under contract through 2024.

She is the winningest coach in program history with 488 wins after taking Arizona State to the NCAA Tournament 14 times, with five Sweet 16 appearances and two trips to the Elite Eight.

Turner Thorne had 528 career wins, with 40 coming while head coach at Northern Arizona (1993-96).

Thorne is also the second-winningest coach in Pac-12 history, having won two regular-season titles, one conference tournament and being named Pac 10/12 Coach of the Year twice. She also won two gold medals with USA Basketball.

ASU went 12-14 (4-9 Pac-12) and was eliminated in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament in Turner Thorne’s final season. She was replaced by Natasha Adair.

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