Promote Rebekkah Brunson and Add Kristin Haynie
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Lynx today announced the team has promoted Rebekkah Brunson to 2nd Assistant Coach and hired Kristin Haynie to complete the coaching staff. The team also announced the following updates to the team’s basketball operations staff for the 2023 season: Michelle Blexrud has been promoted to Basketball Operations Manager, and the team has added Madison Schiller as a Data Scientist to the analytics team. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Brunson promoted to 2nd Assistant Coach
Brunson wrapped her third season in 2022 as a Lynx Assistant Coach. She joined the Lynx coaching staff after retiring in February of 2020 from an illustrious 15-year playing career, highlighted by a record five WNBA titles.
“Rebekkah continues to impress in her passion and aptitude for coaching,” said Lynx Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations Cheryl Reeve. “She has been impactful in her contributions to our staff and players and will no doubt play a key role in the continued success of the Lynx franchise.”
Brunson assists in opponent scouting efforts, player development, and draft preparation. Acquired by Minnesota in the dispersal draft of former Sacramento players on Dec. 14, 2009, she retired as the WNBA’s all-time leader in total rebounds (3,356) and offensive rebounds (1,166) and ranked sixth in both defensive rebounds (2,190) and double-doubles (82). She is the third former Lynx player and WNBA great on Reeve’s coaching staff, joining Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Katie Smith.
Kristin Haynie hired as Assistant Coach
Haynie joins Minnesota after serving as an assistant coach for Michigan State University (MSU) women’s basketball team for three seasons. A Spartan legend and Mason, Mich. native, she returned to East Lansing after working as a basketball skills trainer in western and central Michigan.
Haynie had a stellar Michigan State career, ranking as the career leader in assists (574) and steals (346). She finished her career ranked eighth in MSU history in scoring (1,199 points) and is still 15th in career scoring. At the time of her graduation, she was just the fourth player in Big Ten history to reach career totals of 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists and 300 steals. She is also the Michigan State leader in single-season steals with 117. The point guard is still one of just three Spartan women’s basketball players to record a triple-double.
Haynie was the ninth pick in the 2005 WNBA Draft by the Sacramento Monarchs. She helped the Monarchs capture the WNBA title in her rookie season. Haynie played in 160 games during her WNBA career, spending five seasons in the WNBA (2005-09) with the Sacramento Monarchs, Atlanta Dream and Detroit Shock, including time with Brunson in Sacramento, and Reeve and Lynx Associate Head Coach Katie Smith in Detroit. Haynie was inducted into the Michigan State Hall of Fame in 2017.
“As a former player in the WNBA, Kristin brings a wealth of expertise and a reputation that precedes her,” said Reeve. “Kristin’s devotion to the game and its players will no doubt be a great asset to our coaching staff and franchise.”
Michelle Blexrud promoted to Basketball Operations Manager
The 2023 season will be Blexrud’s eighth season with the Minnesota Lynx and first as Basketball Operations Manager. Blexrud started with the Lynx in 2016 as the Basketball Operations Associate prior to being elevated to Basketball Operations Coordinator in 2020.
Blexrud is responsible for executing all day-to-day tasks of the basketball operations department, including managing all domestic and international player logistics, coordinating team travel arrangements and all equipment. As a member of Coach Reeve’s staff, Blexrud has served on Lynx teams that made six-straight postseason appearances, highlighted by a WNBA Championship title 2017.
Madison Schiller hired as Data Scientist
Schiller joins the Lynx after spending time with the Phoenix Suns focused on basketball research and strategy. Schiller works with predictive models and analyzes basketball datasets using advanced statistical techniques to build and aid in decision making for basketball operations.
A graduate of Cal State East Bay, Schiller was an award-winning Summa Cum Laude student athlete, a NCAA Student Athlete Advisory Committee National representative, and a student of computer and data science.