Auriemma to coach Olympic team

NEW YORK — Fresh from leading unbeaten Connecticut to the NCAA championship, Geno Auriemma is set to become coach of the U.S. women’s basketball team through the 2012 Olympics.

Auriemma will serve as head coach for the next three years, a person familiar with the hiring told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made.

A news conference was scheduled for Wednesday in Storrs, Conn., home of the Huskies.

This year, the 55-year-old Auriemma guided Connecticut to its sixth national championship and third perfect season.

He will serve as head coach through the Summer Games in London.

“The thing about him is that he knows how to win, and he knows how to use his players to their strengths,” two-time Olympic gold medalist and former University of Tennessee standout Tamika Catchings told The Associated Press in an e-mail. “It will be great to see him excel on this level as well.”

Auriemma is the first active college coach to head an Olympic team since Tara VanDerveer led the 1996 Olympic team to a gold medal in Atlanta. The Hall of Fame Stanford coach had to take a year off to lead that U.S. team, which went 52-0 during its pre-Olympic competition-game exhibition schedule before sweeping through the Atlanta Games.

Auriemma became eligible to coach the Olympic team after the USA Basketball executive committee approved a rule change last month. In the past, the Olympic head coaches were required to have WNBA coaching experience. Now the coach must only have five years experience as either an assistant or head coach at any level at the time of the selection.

The U.S., which has captured four straight Olympic gold medals, will first have a chance to qualify for the London games at the FIBA World Championships in 2010 in the Czech Republic. The winner of that tournament will receive an automatic berth to the 2012 Games.

“Geno has mastered the art of doing more with more,” said ESPN analyst and former UT star Kara Lawson, who won a gold medal in Beijing. “He improves great players and that’s not as easy as people think. It’s a skill, something he’s mastered.”

The U.S. teams will most likely have a UConn flavor, with returning Olympians Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi on the roster. They helped Auriemma win national championships when they were Huskies.

“Having a number of his former players in the next few years on the team will help with familiarity, his terminology, coaching style,” Lawson said. “They can enlighten us on how he wants things.”

Get Copyright Permissions © 2009, The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 34

golfballs03 writes:

Geno has an inferiority complex. He's a miserable person

UTandETSUfan writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Suuuure, it only took Geno 20-some more years to achieve this after CPS did. Wonder what the odds are that Geno chokes this up?

NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop writes:

Let the inevitable pasta references begin...

murrayvol writes:

Oh boy!

UTandETSUfan writes:

in response to NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop:

Let the inevitable pasta references begin...

Speaking of which. Why the HELL is team USA using an Italian born coach? If anything, he should be coaching the Italian team, not the US.

rockytoplady writes:

Not important.

checkerboards writes:

I do not watch that much women's basketball but this guy is a solid coach. He is a smug douche bag, but a good coach none the less.

Ron1967 writes:

Better Auriemma than Summitt. She needs to concentrate on Lady Vol basketball and forget the whatever is good for women's basketball meme.

The Stanford program suffered for years partly as a result of their coach doing the Olympic thing. Maybe the same thing will happen to UConn. Summitt needs all the help she can get to become competitive with UConn again. The good news for Summitt is that all of her players return next year except for one. The bad news is all of her players return next year except for one.

murrayvol writes:

in response to checkerboards:

I do not watch that much women's basketball but this guy is a solid coach. He is a smug douche bag, but a good coach none the less.

Pains me to admit it but you're right.

IndianOutlaw writes:

It's hard to believe that I've got to root for Russia, but better than him or a Gator

PennVol writes:

...and immediately 75% of the U.S. decides to pull for the other team.

Colliervol writes:

Good. That will be one more reason that I won't have to watch it.

Let's hear it for Slovakia.

UTandETSUfan writes:

in response to PennVol:

...and immediately 75% of the U.S. decides to pull for the other team.

Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole!
lol jk

UTandETSUfan writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You know CPS is an Olympics coach too...

NashvillePreds writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, winning back-to-back national championships in '07 and '08 will do that to you.
Please die.

BSweet writes:

Next up for our lady olympians.... free espn tour.

volball7222 writes:

Welcome back Mike the con!!!!

I see a future problem for this olympic team....they DO test for steroids and knowing Geno this could be a large issue.

volball7222 writes:

in response to UTandETSUfan:

You know CPS is an Olympics coach too...

Mike, you are the bomb!
Go blow up.

CTOWNICON writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

As if they needed any help. With the way Uconn recruits by bribing players to attend, why would they need any help. Don't you think they will attend with all the goods and services provided to them and their family members. The season is over and you still coming to a Tennessee board. You need to get a life. The olympic committee must be crazy to let that slime bucket coach their team. He got his work cut out for him because the olympic refs are not going to be as kind to him as the NCAA refs.

UTandETSUfan writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

HAHAHAHAHAHA, you've got to be kidding me?
Summitt-
14 SEC Champs
13 SEC Tourney Champs
7 time SEC Coach of the Year
7 time NCAA Coach of the Year
8 time NCAA Champions
28 Straight NCAA Tourneys
18 Final Fours
1005-193
2 Floors named after her
2 Streets on 2 campuses named for her
45 of her Assistants or players went on to be head coaches themselves

CTOWNICON writes:

in response to UTandETSUfan:

HAHAHAHAHAHA, you've got to be kidding me?
Summitt-
14 SEC Champs
13 SEC Tourney Champs
7 time SEC Coach of the Year
7 time NCAA Coach of the Year
8 time NCAA Champions
28 Straight NCAA Tourneys
18 Final Fours
1005-193
2 Floors named after her
2 Streets on 2 campuses named for her
45 of her Assistants or players went on to be head coaches themselves

Miss Mike knows Pat's resume he is just to dumb to comprehend it. The season is over and he is still jealous of that woman.

MillisaAnn writes:

in response to CTOWNICON:

Miss Mike knows Pat's resume he is just to dumb to comprehend it. The season is over and he is still jealous of that woman.

I agree.

I'd rather see Pat coach the US Women's team than geno anyday.

YankeeVol writes:

in response to BigVolMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Apparently for you, too.

LdyVolFaninKS writes:

This could be interesting. These are grown women, not teenagers. They don't owe him anything because they are not on scholarship and he hasn't paid for them. My guess is that some will not put up with his ridiculous antics and tell him to go bite the big one. I know I would if given the opportunity!

uconnfan1 writes:

in response to UTandETSUfan:

Speaking of which. Why the HELL is team USA using an Italian born coach? If anything, he should be coaching the Italian team, not the US.

Because he's the man.

uconnfan1 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He'll find some hair gel.

queens2183#661836 writes:

Honestly, congrats to Geno. It's an honor to get to coach Team USA and I think it's a great choice. Much better than what they've had and although I don't necessarily love him as a person, he is a fantastic coach and that's what it should be about and nobody can deny that. Coach Summitt said she had a great time doing it when it was her time and has already said that she didn't want to do it again b/c she felt that others deserved a shot at it and she wanted to focus on TN and the LVs so I don't understand the shots at her with regard to not being the coach.

Honestly, guys, everything in the women's basketball world doesn't revolve around TN and UConn and their rivalry. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with TN nor UConn and has everything to do with Team USA. It doesn't matter who your college team is when it comes to cheering on your country and everyone should be adult enough to realize that. The players don't dwell on the rivalry in general but especially could care less in the Olympics so why should anyone else. Geno will do an awesome job and I'm rooting for him and Team USA to win the gold.

oldvolsfan writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you are barking up the wrong tree gay gheno fan pat will never be a second rate coach she has done a lot more for womens basketball than geno will never be able to do so go back to your cave an dget the h--- off this board dirtbag

oldvolsfan writes:

in response to queens2183#661836:

Honestly, congrats to Geno. It's an honor to get to coach Team USA and I think it's a great choice. Much better than what they've had and although I don't necessarily love him as a person, he is a fantastic coach and that's what it should be about and nobody can deny that. Coach Summitt said she had a great time doing it when it was her time and has already said that she didn't want to do it again b/c she felt that others deserved a shot at it and she wanted to focus on TN and the LVs so I don't understand the shots at her with regard to not being the coach.

Honestly, guys, everything in the women's basketball world doesn't revolve around TN and UConn and their rivalry. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with TN nor UConn and has everything to do with Team USA. It doesn't matter who your college team is when it comes to cheering on your country and everyone should be adult enough to realize that. The players don't dwell on the rivalry in general but especially could care less in the Olympics so why should anyone else. Geno will do an awesome job and I'm rooting for him and Team USA to win the gold.

this says it all thanks

armyvol544 writes:

I wonder if all the players mothers will get homes.

littleorange writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your "ACT" is weak and immature.

lou_vol writes:

in response to uconnfan1:

He'll find some hair gel.

He might find some "gel" (jail) hair.

volball7222 writes:

in response to uconnfan1:

Because he's the man.

REAL men coach men...not women!

uconnfan1 writes:

in response to volball7222:

REAL men coach men...not women!

some of my family have been in Tennessee since the 1820's and I hear the Pat has a thing for Geno so,what do y'all think about that?why would he want to give up winning to coach men?

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features