The two coaches who have engineered South Carolina and Connecticut’s hot starts will unite to coach the United States women’s basketball team in the 2016 Olympics, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma announced Monday.
South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley will serve as an assistant to Auriemma, the current U.S. women’s national team head coach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil next year. DePaul’s Doug Bruno and Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve will join Staley as assistant coaches.
"There is certainly a comfort level that we have," Auriemma said. "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."
Auriemma and Staley led the U.S. team to a gold medal in the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Championships last summer. The Gamecocks’ junior guard Tiffany Mitchell was a part of the 2014 team that knocked off Russia 15-8 in the final to claim the title.
The 2016 Olympic Games will be held Aug. 5-21 in Brazil. Bruno, Reeve and Staley will accompany Auriemma in training camps this year and next year in preparation for the games.
The U.S. women's basketball team will enter the 2016 tournament riding a 41-game Olympic winning streak. They have not lost since 1992. Teams fielded by the U.S. are 58-3 in Olympic competition.
"The more time we spend together, the relationships are going to grow," Auriemma said, "and we are going to be even more effective than they were in the World Championships."