James Wade (basketball)

James Wade (born August 15, 1975), known as Coco, is an American-French basketball head coach for the Chicago Sky of the WNBA.[1][2] Wade was the 2019 WNBA Coach of the Year.[3] Before guiding stars like Diamond DeShields, Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore, Sylvia Fowles, Lindsay Whalen, and Shao Ting, he was previously an assistant basketball coach for the Minnesota Lynx[4] of the WNBA and for UMMC Ekaterinburg[5] of the Euroleague and Russian Premier Basketball League. He is a former professional basketball player, having played his entire professional career in Europe.

James Wade
James Wade (cropped).jpg
Wade coaching in 2019
Chicago Sky
PositionHead coach
Personal information
Born (1975-08-15) August 15, 1975 (age 45)
Memphis, Tennessee
NationalityAmerican / French
Listed height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Career information
High schoolNorthside (Memphis, Tennessee)
CollegeMiddle Tennessee (1994–1995)
Chattanooga State CC (1995–1996)
Kennesaw State (1996–1998)
NBA draft1998 / Undrafted
Coaching career2013–present
Career history
As player:
2004–2005CSK VVS Samara
2005Rosalia de Castro Noyastar
2005–2006CSK VVS-2 Samara
2006Alicante Costablanca
2007–2008Ústí nad Labem
2008–2009Union Carquefou-St. Luce
2009–2010Aurore de Vitré
2010–2011GET Vosges
2011–2013Castelnau Le Lez Montpellier
As coach:
20122016San Antonio Stars (assistant)
2013–2016BLMA (assistant)
20172018Minnesota Lynx (assistant)
2017–2018UMMC Ekaterinburg (assistant)
2019–presentChicago Sky
Career highlights and awards

Playing careerEdit

In 2001–2004 he played in Cambrai, France. In 2004, he made a brief stop at CSK VVS Samara in the Russian Basketball Super League before taking his next contract at Rosalia Noyastar in Santiago de Compostela in the Spanish Adecco Oro. Directly after his contract in Spain, he revisited Russia. He would sign a contract with CSKA VVS Samara in Superleague B. In March 2006 he finished the season with Costa Urbana Playas in Spain. In the fall of 2007, James went on to play with Usti Nad Labem in the National Basketball League (Czech Republic). In the spring of 2008, he went on to play at Nivelles in the Pro B division of Belgium. For the 2008–2009 season, James took his game back to France and signed with Union Carquefou-Sainte Luce Basket. In 2009–2010 season he played for L'Aurore Vitre in France NM2. James played for GET Vosges in Epinal, France in France's NM1 division for the 2010–2011 season. James played the 2011–2013 for Castelnau Le Lez Basket in Montpellier, France. He concluded his basketball career playing against U.S Colomiers in Toulouse, France in the French Cup scoring 33 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds in an 89–95 victory to conclude a 13-year career in Europe.

Coaching careerEdit

Wade with the San Antonio Stars

In the spring of 2012, James accepted a job as a basketball coaching intern with the WNBA's San Antonio Silver Stars. He served mainly as a player development coach, working closely with All-Stars Sophia Young and Danielle Adams. In 2013, he was hired on the full-time staff to serve as an assistant coach.

In April 2013, James served as an advance scout for UMMC Ekaterinburg during the Euroleague Final Eight that would see them go on to be crowned Champion of Europe. After the 2013 WNBA season, he took on a role to serve as an assistant coach for BLMA (Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration).

On March 2, 2017, James was announced as the new assistant coach for the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx. One month later he would also be named assistant coach of Russian Basketball powerhouse UMMC Ekaterinburg. On October 4, 2017 the Minnesota Lynx won a grueling 5-game series and were crowned WNBA Champions for the 4th time in 7 years. This is Wade's first WNBA title. Sylvia Fowles was crowned MVP of the Finals following her regular season WNBA MVP award. Wade had worked closely with Fowles during the 2017 season. On April 22, 2018 UMMC were crowned Euroleague Champions and that title was followed quickly by Russian League Championship on May 2, 2018. That would make 3 titles in less than 7 months.

In November 2018, Wade was named head coach and general manager of the Chicago Sky of the WNBA.[6][7] In his first season with the Sky, he led the team to its first playoff appearance in three years and was named WNBA Coach of the Year. The Sky lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Las Vegas Aces.

Head coaching recordEdit


Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
CHI 2019 34 20 14 .588 3rd in East 2 1 1 .500 Lost in 2nd Round
CHI 2020 22 12 10 .545 1st in East 1 0 1 .000 Lost in 1st Round
Career 56 32 24 .571 3 1 2 .333

Personal lifeEdit

James is Franco-American (French and American) and is also trilingual. He is married to Edwige Lawson-Wade, an Olympian Silver Medalist and professional basketball player. They have a son James "Jet" Wade III. On February 2, 2021 on TNT, retired NBA player Dwyane Wade stated that he and James are cousins.

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Home". WNBA.com - Official Site of the WNBA. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
  2. ^ McGraw, Patricia Babcock (2018-11-16). "For new Sky coach James Wade, love and basketball is a way of life". Daily Herald. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
  3. ^ "Chicago's James Wade Named 2019 WNBA Coach Of The Year". wnba.com. WNBA. September 11, 2019. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  4. ^ "Home". Minnesota Lynx. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
  5. ^ "WMLBA – "Play to Win"". wmlba.com. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
  6. ^ "Sources: Sky To Announce Hiring Of James Wade As Head Coach And GM On Tuesday". WNBAinsidr. 2018-11-08. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  7. ^ "James Wade Named General Manager and Head Coach of the Chicago Sky". WNBA.com - Official Site of the WNBA. Retrieved 2019-06-02.