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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, May 12, 2014

National team assistants named

USA Basketball named Geno Auriemma's assistant coaches for the Senior Women's National Team.

DePaul's Doug Bruno is the only staff member returning, Cheryl Reeve of the WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx and South Carolina's Dawn Staley will also be assisting Auriemma.

Here is the release from USA Basketball

Three successful and experienced head coaches, including DePaul University's Doug Bruno, the Minnesota Lynx' Cheryl Reeve, and University of South Carolina's Dawn Staley, have been selected as assistant coaches for the 2014 USA Basketball Women's World Championship Team, USA Basketball today announced. Bruno and Staley have both served as assistant coaches for USA Basketball at the FIBA World Championship and Olympic Games, Bruno in 2010 and 2012, and Staley in 2006 and 2008. Reeve has a pair of WNBA titles as a head coach with the Lynx (2011, 2013) and two as an assistant coach with the Detroit Shock (2006, 2008). 

Chosen by the USA Basketball Women's National Team Steering Committee, the three coaches will work with USA and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma and the 2014 USA World Championship Team. 

            "Overall, I think we've got a great mix," said Auriemma. "We certainly have enough experience, both USA Basketball-wise, college, pro; we have a mix of personalities that I think is going to be really, really good. We have some continuity with Doug back. We have an opportunity to bring in some younger coaches, who hopefully aspire down the road to be head coaches at USA Basketball. They're proven winners. They're the kind of people that USA Basketball is really important to them, and most importantly, they're people I can work with, people I have a lot of respect for and I think the committee really did a great job."

The trio of coaches will assist Auriemma during the USA National Team's training camp, which kicks off 
Sept. 7-10 at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. While the remainder of the training schedule is to be announced, the team will compete in the 2014 FIBA World Championship in Istanbul, Turkey, from Sept. 27-Oct. 5. 

            Co-recipient of the 2006 and 2007 USA Basketball Developmental National Team Coach of the Year awards, Bruno was an assistant coach for the 2009-12 USA National Team that captured gold medals at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2012 Olympic Games. Prior to his time with the USA National Team, Bruno headed up a pair of age-based teams in back-to-back summers, compiling a perfect 13-0 record and earning gold medals at the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship.

Bruno's most recent DePaul squad advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, captured the Big East Conference regular season and tournament titles and finished with a 29-7 record. 

            "First of all, it's such a great honor," said Bruno, who owns a 560-301 (.650 winning percentage) in his 28 years at DePaul. "Every time the phone rings and I find out I've got the opportunity to coach with USA Basketball, I'm always excited and always flattered to coach USA Basketball at any level. But then, when it's the USA National Team, being given the opportunity to coach the best players in the world and getting to coach with the best coaches in the world, I'm just overwhelmed. I'm really looking forward to helping USA Basketball in any way I can in defending the FIBA World Championship gold medal. As much as I love traveling to different countries, it's the USA Basketball people, they're fun people to work with all the time."

            At the helm of the WNBA Lynx for four seasons, Reeve has compiled a 93-43 (.683 winning percentage) overall record, including an 80-22 (.793 winning percentage) mark over the past three seasons. After a 13-21 finish in 2010, Reeve helped orchestrate the second-best turnaround in league history, capping the regular season with a 27-7 record and then winning the WNBA title. For her efforts, Reeve was named the 2011 WNBA Coach of the Year. The Lynx in 2012 again finished 27-7 and advanced to the WNBA Finals. In 2013 she guided the Lynx to the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference standings with a 26-8 record and coached the Lynx to its second WNBA championship in three years. Prior to being named head coach at the Lynx, Reeve spent nine years as an assistant in the league at Charlotte (2001-02, 2004-05), Clevelend (2003) and Detroit (2006-09), where she aided the Shock to a pair of WNBA titles. 

            "Obviously it's not only an honor, but a great thrill to be associated with USA Basketball," said Reeve. "It's such a great team. I'm looking forward to coaching world-class athletes with such a tremendous coaching staff. The timing for me is spectacular to be associated with USA Basketball and to have three Philly people on the staff is kind of cool. We're happy to be representing (laughs). 

            "The idea that there will be a few Minnesota Lynx players on the team and the idea that there will obviously be a large contingency of WNBA players, so I think my background, not only with my players, but with the WNBA as a whole, I think there's value in understanding our players," added Reeve on what she brings to the staff. "I think Geno will like that input of maybe some things that we do at our level, whether it's offensively or defensively."

            No stranger to USA Basketball, Staley as an athlete won 10 gold medals, including three Olympic and two FIBA World Championship gold medals, one bronze medal and seven international invitational titles from 1989-2004. She then transitioned into the coaching ranks, received her first USA Basketball coaching assignment as an assistant to the 2006 USA World Championship Team and was later asked to remain on board through the 2008 Olympics. With Staley assisting on the sideline, the USA National Team from 2006-08 posted a 32-2 record, captured the 2008 Olympic and 2007 FIBA Americas Championship gold medals and the 2006 FIBA World Championship bronze medal. Staley also served as head coach for the 2007 USA Pan American Games Team that claimed gold with a perfect 5-0 record and will head up the 2014 USA U18 National Team coaching staff this summer.

In 2013-14 Staley led the Gamecocks to a 29-5 mark, the program's first Southeastern Conference regular season title, a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament where she advanced her team to the Sweet Sixteen. Staley in 2014 was named the SEC Coach of the Year, WBCA Region 3 Coach of the Year and was one of four finalists for the Naismith National Coach of the Year award. 

            "I'm really looking forward to getting back into the USA Basketball network," said Staley, who in six years at South Carolina has compiled a 121-71 (.630 winning percentage) record and posted 25-win seasons in each of the past three years. "It's reliving some of the best days of my life. To be able to work with Geno, Doug and Cheryl, it's going to open me up as a coach to learn different things. I'm looking forward to the challenge and I'm looking forward to, as always, winning the gold medal. 

            "I think I bring my experience of playing and coaching USA Basketball internationally," added Staley. "I still know some of the players, and have played with some of the players, who will probably be on the team. So, I add a different perspective, being able to relate to them and know their style of play, as well as being a good teammate. Just helping Geno in his quest to win another World Championship and add my expertise as someone who has played and coached at the World Championship level. I just want to be a great addition to the staff."


Anonymous Joe said...

Good to keep filling the pipeline. I am surprised Geno accepted a second term. It sounded like he would do it through the 2012 Olympics and then pass the torch at that time.

12:12 PM 

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