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Donovan will coach Liberty this season, then Seton Hall

For the time being, Anne Donovan will have to figure out how to rebuild two struggling teams, not one.

The coach will leave the Liberty after the upcoming WNBA season to become the women's basketball coach at Seton Hall. The university plans to hold a news conference Wednesday to introduce Donovan and Kevin Willard, who will replace fired men's basketball coach Bobby Gonzalez.

Seton Hall confirmed the hiring yesterday, noting that Donovan will coach the Liberty this summer and take over full-time when the season ends in August. That means the bulk of the Pirates' recruiting duties will fall on her assistants.

Donovan replaces Phyllis Mangina, who resigned after posting a 9-21 record in her 25th season at the school, including a 1-15 Big East mark.

Donovan joined the Liberty as an assistant in April 2009 and was named the head coach Dec. 3 after guiding the team to a 7-10 record as interim coach. The Liberty finished 13-21, its second-worst record in franchise history.

After coaching the Seattle Storm to the 2004 WNBA title, Donovan coached the United States to a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics. She was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

Pondexter to Liberty. Cappie Pondexter is headed to the Liberty as part of a major three-team trade. A person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press that a trade is in place to send Pondexter from the Mercury to New York. The Chicago Sky also is involved in the swap.

Pondexter averaged 19.1 points last season in leading the Mercury to the league championship. The 27-year-old All-Star guard will be reunited with Olympic coach Donovan and former Rutgers teammates Essence Carson and Kia Vaughn.With AP

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