All About Caitlin Clark’s Coach Christie Sides, Head of the Indiana Fever

Meet Caitlin Clark’s new coach.

The basketball phenom, who was selected first overall by the Indiana Fever at the 2024 WNBA Draft, is now under the guidance of the Indianapolis-based team’s head coach Christie Sides.

Clark’s transition to the WNBA comes after a standout season with the University of Iowa — not to mention a record-breaking, history-making season for women’s basketball and the NCAA as a whole. The former Hawkeye was coached by the remarkable Lisa Bluder, who announced her retirement from the job on May 13.

Sides, a Baton Rouge native, began her career as an assistant coach for the Ruston High School varsity women’s basketball team in Louisiana in 2000. She then coached at a college level for several teams before transitioning to the WNBA’s Chicago Sky in 2011.

Since then, she’s worked across four teams in the years that followed. Among them included the Indiana Fever between 2017 and 2019, before returning to the team in 2022 as head coach.

Now, all eyes are on the head coach as Clark makes her WNBA debut with the team on May 14 when they go head-to-head against the Connecticut Sun at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Read on to learn more about Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever’s head coach, Christie Sides.

She played basketball in college

Christie Sides of the Indiana Fever in May 2024.

Gregory Shamus/Getty

Sides is a former college basketball player herself, having played the position of guard across two teams throughout her collegiate career. She began with Ole Miss and finished her student-athlete run with Louisiana Tech, where she helped the Lady Techsters reach the 1999 Final Four in the NCAA Championship Tournament.

She coached college basketball early in her career

Prior to transitioning her coaching career to the WNBA, Sides assistant coached several college basketball teams in the early 2000s. After a few years coaching high school ball, she returned to Louisiana Tech as assistant coach during the 2003-2004 season.

Between 2004 and 2007, she was an assistant coach for LSU under head coach Pokey Chatman. Her time spent with the Lady Tigers was successful, helping guide the team to three Final Fours and two Southeastern Conference regular season titles in three seasons.

While Sides spent the 2011-2016 seasons with the WNBA’s Chicago Sun, she returned to coach college basketball during the 2016-2017 seasons with Northwestern, the 2017-2019 seasons with the Indiana Fever and the 2019-2022 seasons with Louisiana-Monroe.

She transitioned her coaching career to the WNBA

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever poses for a photo with Lin Dunn and Christie Sides.

Ron Hoskins/NBAE/Getty

Although Sides spent several seasons with the Chicago Sun between 2011-2016, she returned to a college basketball career before making her way back to the WNBA to join Tanisha Wright’s staff with the Atlanta Dream during the 2022 women’s basketball season.

That same year, Sides stepped into her first head coaching job when she was hired by the Indiana Fever, making her the ninth head coach in the team’s franchise history.

She coached professional basketball internationally

She took her career overseas from 2009 to 2013 as she served as an assistant for Spartak Moscow Region in Russia alongside Chatman, who she previously worked with at LSU. They led Spartak to consecutive FIBA EuroLeague Championships in both 2009 and 2010 and five Final Eight finishes.

She is supportive of Caitlin Clark amid her WNBA transition

Caitlin Clark and head coach Christie Sides of the Indiana Fever in May 2024.

Gregory Shamus/Getty

Sides has spoken at press conferences about fans’ reactions to Clark in the wake of her basketball successes — and of course, having the star rookie join her team as the WNBA season begins.

While she’s expressed her excitement about the new addition to the Fever’s roster, she’s also been vocal about what she’d like to see from the No. 1 draft pick amid her transition to the pros.

“I think she’s used to some shots that she’s taken in the last few years that are just those deep shots,” Sides said after the Fever’s win over the Atlanta Dream on May 9 during WNBA’s preseason. “She’s gonna get open looks. She’s gotta figure out — I gave her a rule the other day. She’s got 0.5 seconds to make a decision.”

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