The Atlanta Dream announced on Saturday that interim head coach Mike Petersen is stepping down for “health reasons.”
Petersen took over as head coach a week before the start of the 2021 season. The Dream are 6-13 on the season.
“For health reasons that the grind of the WNBA season will not allow me to adequately address, I have decided to step down from my coaching duties with the Dream,” Petersen’s statement reads. “I want to thank the Atlanta Dream players, staff and ownership for the opportunity to be part of an amazing organization.”
“It has been a pleasure working with and getting to know Coach Mike,” Dream majority owner Larry Gottesdiener said. “We appreciate his willingness to step up and take on the role of head coach this season and everything he has done for the team. His experience and leadership will continue to be a benefit to the organization as he transitions to his new role.”
This the latest blow in a Dream season already filled with turmoil. New ownership group led by ex-player Renee Montgomery took over in February in the aftermath of the Kelly Loeffler era. In April, general manager Chris Sienko was fired after the WNBA draft. Petersen took over as interim coach after head coach Nicki Collen abruptly left in May to take over for Kim Mulkey at Baylor.
On July 5, the Dream suspended 2020 Rookie of the Year runner-up Chennedy Carter for conduct detrimental to the team. What prompted the suspension isn’t clear, but she hasn’t played since.
Petersen will transition into a role in the front office, and assistant coach Darius Taylor will take over as interim head coach.