UConn’s Geno Auriemma, 55, will be named coach of the U.S women’s basketball team through the 2012 Olympics. The university has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday in Storrs.
Auriemma just won his sixth national title at UConn as the Huskies finished off an unbeaten season (39-0) by defeating Louisville in the NCAA women’s final last week. He will serve as head coach through the Summer Games in London.
According to the Hartford Courant:
Auriemma is the first active college coach to head an Olympic team since Tara VanDerveer in 1996. 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 won 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
Olympians Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, former UConn players who also won national titles playing for Auriemma, are likely to be on the U.S. roster.
Being a big UConn fan, this news is huge. There’s no doubt Auriemma is an amazing coach and will serve the U.S. team well. Surely pundits will have a lot to say about the news in the coming days and months so we’ll keep you posted.