Pokey Chatman

Last updated
Pokey Chatman
Pokey Chatman (cropped).jpg
Chatman in 2019
Seattle Storm
PositionAssistant Coach
League WNBA
Personal information
Born (1969-06-18) June 18, 1969 (age 53)
Ama, Louisiana
Career information
High school Hahnville (Boutte, Louisiana)
College LSU (1987–1991)
Coaching career1992–present
Career history
As coach:
1992–2004 LSU (assistant)
2008–2010 WBC Sparta&K
2011–2016 Chicago Sky
2016–2019 Indiana Fever
2022 Seattle Storm (assistant)
Women's Basketball
U18 and U19
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1988 U18 Sao Paulo Team Competition
Assistant Coach for Flag of the United States.svg  United States
World University Games
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 2005 Izmir Team Competition

Dana "Pokey" Chatman (born June 18, 1969) [1] is currently an assistant coach for the Seattle Storm in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Chatman is the former head coach of the Indiana Fever and Chicago Sky of the WNBA. [2] She is also the former head coach of the LSU Lady Tigers basketball team and the Spartak Moscow women's basketball team.


Chatman spent the first 20 years of her adult life at LSU as a player (1987–1991), student assistant (1991–1992), assistant coach (1992–2004) and head coach (2004–2007). After succeeding longtime coach Sue Gunter in 2004, Chatman led the Lady Tigers to three consecutive NCAA Final Fours in 2004 (as acting head coach for the ailing Gunter), 2005, and 2006.

Chatman resigned from her post at LSU on March 7, 2007, amid allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a former player that were alleged to have begun when Chatman was coaching the player. [3]


High school career

Chatman was born in Ama, Louisiana, played point guard at Hahnville High School and was a five-time AAU All-American. She is recognized for scoring the first 3-point shot in a high school game for the state of Louisiana.

LSU playing career

The 1991 Kodak All-American point guard played for Gunter from 1987 to 1991, starting all but one game and setting the all-time steals (346) and assists (570) records at LSU. Her assist record was broken in the 2003–2004 season by Temeka Johnson. Chatman played in the NCAA tournament four times and posted a record of 82–38 as a player. She was a three-time All-SEC selection and led the Lady Tigers to their first ever SEC Tournament title in 1991, where she was the tournament's Most Valuable Player (MVP).

LSU statistics

Source [4]

  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage 3P%  3-point field goal percentage FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game APG  Assists per game SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high

LSU coaching career

After serving as a student assistant with the Lady Tigers for a season (1991–1992), Chatman was named a full-fledged assistant coach before the 1992–1993 season. She was promoted to associate head coach in 1999. In 2003–2004, head coach Sue Gunter took a medical leave of absence in the middle of the season. Chatman, in her 14th season on the coaching staff, was named interim coach. She led the Tigers to a 15–5 record (27–8 overall) and the first Final Four in school history. However, LSU credits the entire season to Gunter.

By the end of the season, it was obvious that Gunter would not be able to return. She announced her retirement on April 27, and Chatman was named the fourth head coach in school history.

Head coach

In Chatman's first season as head coach, she led the Lady Tigers to a 33–3 record, an undefeated SEC regular season title (14–0), and the program's second consecutive Final Four, falling to eventual national champion Baylor in the semifinals. In the 2005–2006 season, the Lady Tigers finished with a 31–4 record, captured their second consecutive SEC regular season title (13–1), and reached their third straight Final Four, this time losing to Duke. Chatman's 47–3 record is the second best record through 50 games in women's basketball history. Only Hall of Fame coach Leon Barmore, the former Louisiana Tech head coach, had a better record (48–2).

Chatman won numerous awards, including the Black Coaches Association's Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2005; the 2005 USBWA National Coach of the Year, [5] the 2005 Russell/WBCA National Coach of the Year; [6] the 2005 Naismith National Coach of the Year; the 2005 Victor Award Female Coach of the Year; the 2005 SEC Coach of the Year; and the 2005 Louisiana Coach of the Year.

In 2005, Chatman served as the assistant coach for the USA Women's World University Games Team, which won the gold medal. Chatman also won a medal as a player on the 1990 USA Select Team.

Chatman was inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame in 1998.

Resignation as LSU head coach

Chatman resigned as the head women's basketball coach at LSU on March 7, 2007, after school officials became aware of an alleged inappropriate sexual relationship between Chatman and a former player. Former LSU assistant coach Carla Berry, a college teammate of Chatman's, reported the alleged relationship to the university in February. [7] Assistant coach Bob Starkey was named interim coach and led the team during the 2007 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament, in which the Tigers made their fourth consecutive Final Four. [8]

Chatman claimed that after LSU learned about the alleged relationship, it conducted a cursory investigation before giving her an ultimatum—resign within two hours or be fired. She initially demanded to be paid the remaining $900,000 on her contract. [9] Ultimately, LSU and Chatman settled out of court for $160,000. [10]


Pokey Chatman in Russia Pokey Chatman 456.JPG
Pokey Chatman in Russia

In August 2007 she signed as assistant coach of the Women's Basketball Club Spartak Moscow Region (who had just won the 2007 Euroleague Women's Final). Spartak won the next three championships and in 2010, as the head coach, Chatman led the team to a 16–0 Euroleague record and their fourth straight Euroleague Championship.

Chicago Sky

On October 29, 2010, Chatman was named the general manager and head coach of the Chicago Sky of the WNBA. [11] She was let go by the Sky in October 2016. [2]

Indiana Fever

On November 18, 2016, Chatman was announced as the new head coach of the Indiana Fever. She assumed the role after Stephanie White left to accept the head coaching job at Vanderbilt. On September 10, 2019, Chatman was fired as general manager and head coach of the Indiana Fever of the WNBA. [12]

Seattle Storm

On January 21, 2022, Chatman was announced as an assistant coach of the Seattle Storm of the WNBA. [13]

USA Basketball

As player

Chatman was a member of the USA Women's U18 team which won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The event was known as the Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament at the time. The event was held in August 1988, when the USA team defeated the host team Brazil by a score of 70–68 to win the championship. [14]

As coach

Chatman served as an assistant coach of the USA Women's World University Games Team at the World University Games (also known as the Universiade) held in Izmir, Turkey in August 2005. The team won their first game against the Czech Republic 88–64; the 24-point margin in that contest would be the closest any team would come to beating the USA until the gold-medal final. After defeating South Africa, China, and Poland to move on to the quarterfinals, they then beat Taiwan and Russia – each by more than 50 points. This set up the championship game with Serbia & Montenegro which the USA won 79–63 to complete a 7–0 record and win the gold medal. [15]

Head coaching record

Statistics overview
LSU (SEC)(1990–1997)
2003–04LSU (interim) 15–58–42nd NCAA Final Four
2004–05LSU 33–314–01st NCAA Final Four
2005–06LSU 31–413–11st NCAA Final Four
2006–07LSU 26–710–4T-3rdResigned before NCAA tournament
LSU:105–19 (.847)45–9 (.833)
Total:105–19 (.847)

      National champion        Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion        Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion      Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Regular seasonGGames coachedWGames wonLGames lostW–L %Win–loss %
PlayoffsPGPlayoff gamesPWPlayoff winsPLPlayoff lossesPW–L %Playoff win–loss %
CHI 2011 341420.4125th in East----Missed Playoffs
CHI 2012 341420.4125th in East----Missed Playoffs
CHI 2013 342410.7061st in East202.000Lost Eastern Conference Semi-Finals
CHI 2014 341519.4414th in East945.444Lost WNBA Finals
CHI 2015 342113.6182nd in East312.333Lost Eastern Conference Semi-Finals
CHI 2016 341816.5292nd in East523.333Lost WNBA Semi-Finals
IND 2017 34925.2656th in East----Missed Playoffs
IND 2018 34628.1766th in East----Missed Playoffs
IND 2019 341321.3826th in East----Missed Playoffs

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  1. "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved 25 Sep 2015.
  2. 1 2 Chicago Tribune staff (October 28, 2016). "Sky fire head coach Pokey Chatman". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  3. "Attorney: Chatman was given few hours to resign". 17 April 2007.
  4. "LSU Media Guide" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  5. "USBWA WOMEN'S HONORS". USBWA. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  6. "Past Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coaches of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 30 Jun 2014.
  7. "Chatman Quits Amid Sexual Amid Sexual Misconduct Claims". ESPN. 7 March 2017.
  8. "LSU's Starkey adamant about not wanting head job - USATODAY.com". usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  9. Chatman's attorney: LSU forced resignation
  10. LSU, ex-hoops coach Chatman agree to $160K settlement. ESPN, 2007-06-15
  11. "Former LSU coach Chatman to run WNBA's Sky". ESPN.com. 2010-10-29. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  12. "Indiana Fever fire coach, general manager Pokey Chatman". FOX.com. 2019-09-10. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  13. "Seattle Storm Add to Coaching Staff, Hire Pokey Chatman, Ebony Hoffman as Assistants". ESPN.com. 2022-01-21. Retrieved 2022-06-25.
  14. "FIRST WOMEN'S JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING TEAM – 1988". USA Basketball. Retrieved 15 Oct 2013.
  15. "TWENTY-SECOND WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES – 2005". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 29 April 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.