PUTNAM, Conn. – Putnam Science Academy is thrilled to announce the hiring of WNBA player Bria Holmes as its next women’s basketball coach.
“I am so honored for this great opportunity at Putnam Science Academy,” said Holmes, who was a 2016 first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Dream and has also played for the Connecticut Sun and Los Angeles Sparks in her five-year career. “This opportunity comes at a great time in my life, and I plan on taking the team to new levels with my experience and leadership.”
Holmes, who enjoyed an all-American career at West Virginia University and is currently playing overseas, will take over a team that has finished fourth in the last two national tournaments and is expected to return three of its top four scorers from last year.
“This is an incredible opportunity for us to bring someone with Bria’s experience into Putnam Science Academy,” Dean of Athletics Tom Espinosa said. “Bria has big expectations of herself and her players and we are looking forward to her getting started.”
Holmes will take time off as a professional to “be a mom and help young girls follow their dream.” She was a McDonald’s All-American while playing at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn., before becoming one of the greatest women’s basketball players in Mountaineers’ history, as her induction into the WVU Women’s Hall of Fame can attest.
She was selected with the 11th overall pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft and spent two seasons with the Dream before being traded to the Sun, with whom she went to the Finals in 2019. She signed as a free agent with the Sparks prior to the 2021 season and holds the team’s single-game record for largest +/- with a +39.
“My goal is to assist our players academically and mold them into great young women and athletes on and off the court,” said Holmes, who has also played overseas in Israel and Poland, and is currently finishing her contract in the Czech Republic. “I am so grateful to be joining this nationally ranked program and working with the staff and players. I’m super excited for this new opportunity and thankful that I will be able to be home to watch my daughter grow up.”