Thibault out as Sun coach

The Connecticut Sun fired head coach Mike Thibault on Tuesday.

Thibault had been the only coach in the Sun's history, taking over in 2003 when the franchise relocated from Orlando. He had a record of 206-134 in 10 seasons with eight playoff appearances and was the league's top coach for 2006 and 2008.

The Sun have been perennial contenders, reaching the WNBA Finals in 2004 and 2005, but have yet to capture the championship. The team has also been to the Eastern Conference finals five times, including this past season.

"The decision to let Mike go was difficult based on our friendship and working relationship," said Sun general manager Chris Sienko in a statement. "Mike has had much success here in Connecticut over the past 10 seasons. However, we felt it was time for a new voice and new direction for our players and our fans as we continue to try to capture that first, elusive title. We wish Mike and his family nothing but success and know our paths will cross again in the future."

Connecticut was 25-9 in 2012 and earned the top seed in the East, but fell in the conference finals to eventual WNBA champion Indiana in three games.

"We are committed to bringing a WNBA championship to our loyal fans, who have given us tremendous support our first 10 seasons," Sienko added. "We have several candidates in mind who we believe can help us accomplish that goal. Ultimately, we want to find the best fit for our athletes and this organization."

Sienko said assistant coaches Bernadette Mattox and Scott Hawk were also relieved of their duties.