COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 9, 2014) – After assisting USA head coach Geno Auriemma (University of Connecticut) to the gold medal and a 6-0 record at the 2014 FIBA World Championship, USA Basketball today announced Minnesota Lynx’ Cheryl Reeve, University of South Carolina’s Dawn Staley and DePaul University’s Doug Bruno, will return as assistant coaches for the USA Women’s National Team through the 2016 Olympic Games.The coaching staff was selected by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Steering Committee, approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors and is pending approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
The three coaches will work with Auriemma at various USA National Team training camps in 2015 and 2016 and with the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team at the 2016 Olympic Games, which will be held Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
This marks the second Olympic assistant coach assignment for both Bruno and Staley. Bruno was an assistant for Auriemma and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team that also earned a perfect 8-0 mark and upped the USA’s Olympic gold-medal streak to five, a record for women’s traditional team sports. After retiring from international play in 2004 following her third Olympic gold medal, Staley was an assistant for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team that compiled an 8-0 record and captured the USA’s fourth-straight Olympic gold medal.
While the Rio Olympic Games will be Reeve’s first Olympic experience, she has plenty of experience coaching Olympians. Reeve won a pair of WNBA titles as a head coach with the Lynx (2011 and 2013), which featured three U.S. Olympians (Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen), and two as an assistant coach with the Detroit Shock (2006 and 2008), which also boasted a trio of Olympic champions (Swin Cash, Ruth Riley and Katie Smith) during her time.
“There is certainly a comfort level that we have,” said Auriemma. “We know a little bit about each other now and have been able to work together in the FIBA World Championship and I’m very comfortable with them and confident in them. Obviously I’ve known Doug the longest but I’ve had coaching relationships with Dawn and Cheryl too and we’ve worked really well together. The more time we spend together, the relationships are going to grow and we are going to be even more effective than they were in the World Championships.”
A total of 12 nations will compete in the Olympic women’s basketball competition, including host Brazil and the USA, which earned its berth by virtue of claiming the gold medal at the 2014 FIBA World Championship. The gold-medal winning nations from each of the five FIBA zone Olympic qualifying tournaments in 2015 will also punch their tickets to Rio, while the remaining berths will be awarded to the top five finishing teams at the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament (dates and site TBD).
Having earned a record seven gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal in Olympic play, USA Basketball women’s teams are 58-3 all-time in Olympic competition and will enter Rio riding a remarkable 41-game Olympic winning streak that dates to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics bronze medal game.
Since the inception of the 1995-96 USA Basketball Women’s National Team program, the USA National Team, in addition to its record five-straight Olympic gold medals, has captured four FIBA World Championship gold medals, one FIBA World Championship bronze medal and one FIBA Americas Championship gold medal, while compiling a stunning 86-1 record for a .989 winning percentage in those events. Further, USA National Teams in exhibition contests since 1995 boast of a 186-15 record (.925 winning percentage).