Dawn Staley to coach U.S. national team, UConn's Auriemma a special advisor
Four years ago Auriemma was appointed to a second term as the U.S. senior women's national team coach despite his proclamation that one Olympic cycle was enough for him. Auriemma made it clear during the lead up to this year's Olympic tournament that he was not going to return to lead the U.S. team for the next four years.
It became official today when South Carolina coach Dawn Staley was named the national team coach while Auriemma will serve as a special advisor.
Staley is no stranger to the folks at USA Basketball both as a player and a coach. Staley won 10 gold medals with USA Basketball as a player highlighted by being a part of three Olympic and two World Championship teams.
She has been an assistant coach on two Olympic championship teams and also coached the U.S. junior national teams to gold medals.
“I think she’s an obvious choice with all of the experience that she has had as part of the Olympic program as a player, as a coach, both as an assistant coach at the national team level and the head coach (for junior USA teams), being part of gold-medal winning teams," Auriemma said in a statement. "The success that you need to have at the Olympic level is, you’re expected to win a gold medal every year. In order to do that I think you have to have an expectation of winning, and proving that you can win and proving that you can take teams in a short period of time and guide them is not easy. And, Dawn’s been able to do that. I think she’s going to be really, really good, because she understands the way the whole system works. She’s been a part of it in every capacity. So, I don’t envision that there will be anything that she’s not prepared for. I think it’s a great choice. I’m happy for her, and I’m happy for USA Basketball."
USA Basketball Women's National Team director Carol Callan serves as chair of the USA Women's National Team Steering Committee. The committee also includes three-time Olympic and two-time World Championship gold medalist Katie Smith as the athlete representative; representing the WNBA is the league's chief operating officer Jay Parry; Auriemma will serve as a special advisor; and two-time Olympic and 1998 FIBA World Championship gold medalist Ruthie Bolton is the at-large representative.