Forty-four years after he helped lead the Wittenberg University men’s basketball team to the 1977 NCAA Division III national championship as a freshman point guard, Brian Agler, class of 1980, will return to his alma mater as the new Vice President and Director of Athletics and Recreation, Wittenberg President Michael Frandsen, Ph.D., announced today. Agler is expected to begin on January 18.
A 1995 inductee into Wittenberg’s Athletics Hall of Honor and a 2014 inductee into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame, Agler returns to Springfield after a groundbreaking career as a women’s basketball coach. A native of Prospect, Ohio, Agler most recently spent two years as head coach of the Dallas Wings of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
“Brian is a Wittenberg Tiger through and through, and we are pleased to welcome him home to lead our Athletics division,” Frandsen said. “An accomplished leader and winner, Brian shares our vision for providing a robust support system for our student-athletes to prepare them for life after college while also advancing Wittenberg’s teams to the highest levels of competition within NCAA Division III. His extensive knowledge of all levels of athletics, vast network of connections, and heart for mentoring will also be invaluable as we move Tiger athletics to the next level of excellence, in the competition arenas and beyond.”
After playing one year of professional basketball in Europe, Agler started his coaching career as an assistant at Muhlenberg College. He spent a total of 15 years as a college coach, including head coaching stints at Missouri-Kansas City, Northeast Oklahoma A&M, and Kansas State.
Agler next spent 24 years in the professional ranks, starting with two seasons and two championships as head coach of the Columbus Quest in the now-defunct American Basketball League. He moved on to the WNBA and compiled a record of 287-258 in 18 seasons as a head coach with the Minnesota Lynx, Seattle Storm, LA Sparks, and Dallas Wings.
Agler won two WNBA titles, in 2010 with the Seattle Storm and 2016 with the LA Sparks, and he was named WNBA Coach of the Year in 2010. In addition to his coaching duties in Seattle, Agler also served as the team’s general manager for seven years.