Doug Feinberg, AP Basketball Writer

Brian Agler is very familiar with how talented the Los Angeles Sparks are, having coached against them for the past seven years. Now he’ll get a chance to lead them.

Agler will be introduced as the new coach of the Sparks, two people familiar with the announcement told The Associated Press on Monday. Agler has been the head coach of the Seattle Storm since 2008 and guided the team to the WNBA championship in 2010.

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The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not yet been made public.

Agler inherits a talented team led by stars Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike.

It’s been a whirlwind year for the Sparks. It was just over a year ago when the team was in a state of chaos after previous owner Paula Madison said she was going to sell the team. A group led by Magic Johnson stepped up and bought the team in February.

Sparks general manager Penny Toler fired coach Carol Ross midway through last season and took over the coaching duties herself. Toler said at the time she wasn’t interested in being the permanent choice as head coach. The Sparks lost in the first round of the playoffs to Phoenix.

The 56-year-old Agler also led the Columbus Quest of the now-defunct American Basketball League to two championships. He was extremely successful in Seattle, guiding the Storm to the playoffs every year except last season.

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Seattle even qualified for the postseason in 2013 without injured stars Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird. Agler finished second for the league’s coach of the year that season.

This past season Seattle finished in sixth place in the West as Jackson was still hurt. The Storm won the WNBA draft lottery and have the top pick.


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