Cheryl Reeve is the head coach of the Minnesota Lynx. The team that got off to a 13-0 start in 2016, the best start in WNBA history. The team that has been to the WNBA Finals five out of the past six years. The team that is one win away from tying the record for most WNBA titles ever. That is Cheryl Reeve’s team, and it is loaded.
But this is why you should appreciate her specifically far more than you currently do.
1. Her impressive coaching record
During her seven years with the Minnesota Lynx, Cheryl Reeve is a two-time WNBA Coach of the Year, three-time WNBA Finals Champion, and the winningest coach in WNBA history.
2. Her no nonsense style
Her attitude on and off the court rivals that of a Gregg Popovich or Bill Belichick. Just take a listen to when she was mic’d up during Game 2 of the 2016 WNBA Finals.
Mic every coach and player from now on for forever!! pic.twitter.com/4r3t1GBy1x— Matt Ellentuck (@mellentuck) October 12, 2016
Answers during a press conference? Yeah, she’s great at those, too.
Reporter: What rattles Maya...if anything?— Angel Gray (@Angel_Gray1) October 17, 2016
Coach Reeve: When I sub her out. #NuffSaid #WNBAFinals pic.twitter.com/wNOTwF8iVN
3. The way she supports those around her
On Sept. 6, the Lynx and Los Angeles Sparks played on ESPN 2. Sideline reporter Holly Rowe, amid her battle with cancer, went on national TV for the first time without her wig. Instead of answering a basketball-related question, Reeve completely flipped the script to Holly’s courageous story.
“Holly, no matter what’s going on in the game, what’s more important is what’s going on with you,” she said. “We are so proud of your strength and your fortitude and the way that you’re tackling breast cancer. And us bearing the name “Mayo” is no more significant than a day like today for breast health awareness. So we are so proud of you and we stand with you and we think you’re absolutely amazing.”
4. Her willingness to speak out on social issues
"This is a human issue & we need to speak up for change, together." -Maya pic.twitter.com/tyfl65Ag81— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) July 9, 2016
In July, Minnesota Lynx players stood up and spoke out for the Black Lives Matter movement. Reeve referred to it as “probably her proudest time” as the coach of the Minnesota Lynx.
"When you look back, you can take the easy route. You can just be an athlete," Reeve said. "Which is silly. We all have a voice. When all is said and done, what do you want to be known for?"
5. And yes, the fact that this picture exists.
The legacy a coach leaves behind goes much further than what they do on the court. It’s about the impacts on the lives of those who surround them each and every day. Cheryl Reeve more than deserves her spot in history among all-time great coaches, and we all could surely use a little more Cheryl Reeve in our lives.