MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –  Katie Smith, who made her WNBA debut with the Lynx, will return to the team as an assistant coach, Head Coach Cheryl Reeve announced Tuesday.

Smith has served the last two seasons as the head coach of the New York Liberty. She joins Reeve’s staff as the lead assistant with the Lynx, supporting the team’s scouting efforts, in-game analysis, and player development.

“We are so happy that Katie Smith is returning to the Minnesota Lynx,” said Reeve. “Katie is a Lynx legend and will once again be a tremendous asset to the Lynx organization.” Smith and Reeve have worked together before; Smith played with the Detroit Shock between 2005 and 2009, where Reeve was working as an assistant coach.

Originally from Logan, Ohio, she started her professional career in the American Basketball League with the Columbus Quest, where she helped the team win the league’s only two championships in 1996-7 and 1997-8. In 2003, she guided the Lynx to their first-ever playoff appearance and was named to the All WNBA First Team.

She was also a decorated member of the United States Women’s National Team, earning gold at three straight Olympics (2000, 2004, 2008) and gold at the 1998 and 2002 Women’s FIBA World Championship. In 2018, she was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame and inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

The news of Smith’s return coincided with the WNBA’s announcement of a tentative collective bargaining agreement with the WNBA Players Association. It includes significant increases to player compensation as well as new child care and family planning benefits.