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Liberty Fires Coach Richie Adubato

July 4, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) _ New York Liberty coach Richie Adubato was fired Saturday after leading the team to three Eastern Conference championships in 5 1/2 seasons.

Assistant Pat Coyle was hired as interim coach of the Liberty, who are off to a 7-9 start and tied for fifth place in the conference.

The Liberty also fired assistant Jeff House.

Adubato, named coach of the Liberty in December 1998, had a record of 100-79 and led New York to conference titles in 1999, 2000 and ’02. The Liberty were beaten in the ’99 and 2000 finals by the Houston Comets, and lost to the Los Angeles Sparks in the 2002 finals.

``We thank Richie for his commitment to the Liberty, he played a big part in our past success, most notably guiding us to three Eastern Conference championships, but we felt that at this time the team needed to go in a different direction,″ Liberty general manager Carol Blazejowski said in a statement.

Adubato was an NBA head coach with the Detroit Pistons (1979-80), Dallas Mavericks (1989-93) and Orlando Magic (1996-97). He was an assistant with the New York Knicks for four seasons and served as an assistant with Detroit, Dallas, Cleveland and Orlando.

Coyle has been an assistant with the Liberty since 1998. She went 100-77 at Loyola College from 1992-98.

``We’re confident that Patty’s extensive coaching experience, as both an assistant and head coach, will serve her well in her role as interim head coach,″ Blazejowski said.

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