Geno Auriemma, Mike Krzyzewski Share 2012 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year Award
Geno Auriemma (University of Connecticut) and Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University) today were announced co-recipients of the 2012 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award after each led the USA to a gold medal in the London Olympic Games and undefeated exhibition records in 2012.
“The opportunity to coach the Olympic Team is an amazing opportunity that you are very fortunate to have and all you want to do is a great job while putting the players in a position to be successful,” said Auriemma, 2012 U.S. Olympic/Women’s National Team head coach. “I thought our entire coaching staff, Doug Bruno, Marynell Meadors, Jen Gillom and everyone associated with our team from Carol Callan on down, were outstanding. We got all the resources and support that we needed, and I think I owe a debt of gratitude to all of them, along with Jim Tooley and Jerry Colangelo for what they do.
“So, I don’t know that it was me as much as the support group we had around us and the great group of athletes I had the opportunity to coach. They were just unbelievably committed to winning, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be around a group like that ever again.”
This is the second USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award for Auriemma, who also shared the honor with Krzyzewski in 2010, and an unprecedented fifth award for Krzyzewski, who earned or shared the honor in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010.
“Well first of all, (this award means) continuity,” Krzyzewski said. “In other words, in order to have an opportunity to keep winning them means you had great teams that accomplished. For any coaching award, it’s what the players have done. It’s LeBron James, and Kobe (Bryant), and Kevin Durant and all of those guys coming through. I’ve been a lucky guy to be a part of it for seven years, and in five of the years there was some kind of competition.”
The U.S. women’s gold medal was an unprecedented fifth-straight Olympic gold, a feat never before accomplished in any women’s traditional team sport, while under Krzyzewski’s hand the USA men captured a second-consecutive Olympic gold.
“Our two coaches built outstanding teams for USA Basketball that our country was proud to cheer on in London,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball Executive Director/CEO. “From the start of their involvement with our national team programs, Coach K and Geno have exemplified the qualities they stressed to our players, including commitment, selfless service and excellence.”
The USA Basketball Board of Directors is responsible for selecting USA Basketball’s annual awards. The National Coach of the Year award was established in 1996 to recognize a USA Basketball head coach who, during the year of the award, made significant impact on the success of individual athlete and team performance at the highest level of competition.
USA Basketball National
Coach of the Year
2012 Geno Auriemma, University of Connecticut
In addition to Auriemma and Krzyzewski, previous winners include Jennifer Rizzotti (2011), Jamie Dixon (2009), Anne Donovan (2008, 2007), Gail Goestenkors (2005), Van Chancellor (2004, 2002), Larry Brown (2003, 1999), Jim Boeheim (2001), Nell Fortner (2000), Clem Haskins (1998), Mo McHone (1997) and Tara VanDerveer (1996).
In the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, Auriemma led the USA women to an 8-0 record and piloted the USA Women’s National Team to a 5-0 record during exhibition play in 2012.
“Coach Auriemma led the way, and he was never satisfied,” said Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), three-time Olympic gold medalist and 2012 co-captain. “He always wanted more from us as individuals and as a unit. It was more than just winning a gold medal, it was about playing basketball the right way.”
Under Auriemma’s leadership, the USA topped teams by an average of 34.4 points per game during the Olympics and listed No. 1 in 15 of 19 major statistical categories among the 12-team field, including points averaged (90.6), field goal percentage (.484), rebounding margin (+17.2), blocked shots (41), assists (185), steals (84) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.67).
The team also recorded 2012 Olympic single-game highs for points scored (114), field goals made (52), field goals attempted (90), field goal percentage (.627), rebounds (62), assists (33), steals (15) and blocked shots (11), and set U.S. Olympic single-game records for points (tied), rebounds, field goals made, field goals attempted (tied), assists and blocked shots.
The 2012 squad also set U.S. Olympic competition records for field goals attempted (597), rebounds (404) and blocked shots (41).
Additionally, as part of USA Basketball’s Hoops for Troops program, Auriemma and members of the USA Women’s National Team conducted a clinic for approximately 50 children of military members on July 14 at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C.
Currently in his 28th season as head coach for the Huskies, Auriemma reached his 13th NCAA Final Four in the 2011-12 season, finishing with a 33-5 record.
Krzyzewski led the USA men to an 8-0 record in the 2012 Olympics in London, England, and led the USA Men’s National Team to a 5-0 exhibition slate in the run up to the Games.
“Coach K meant everything to our success,” said LeBron James (Miami Heat), USA guard and three-time Olympian. “He came in with his mindset, his game plan and with his truths and beliefs, and we all followed him. He meant everything to our team and it has been an honor to play for him.”
Winning its Olympic games by an average of 32.1 points per game, the USA’s 156 points scored in a victory against Nigeria on Aug. 2 were the most points scored by any team in Olympic Games history.
The USA listed No. 1 in six of 13 major statistical categories among the 12-team Olympic field, including points per game (115.5), field goal percentage (.523), 3-point percentage (.440), rebound average (44.6), steals per game (10.4) and assists per game (25.0).
Among 2012 Olympic single-game bests, the USA listed No. 1 in points scored (156), field goals made (59), field goal attempts (88), field goal percentage (.711), 3-pointers made (29), 3-point attempts (46, twice), 3-point percentage (.630), free throws made (28), free throw attempts (38), assists (41) and steals (17); and the team established U.S. Olympic single-game records for points scored, field goals made, field-goal percentage, 3-pointers made, 3-pointers attempted and assists (tied).
Under Krzyzewski’s guidance, the team set U.S. Olympic competition records for 3-pointers made (129), 3-pointers attempted (293), 3-point percentage (.440), rebounds (357, eight games) and highest rebound average (44.6).
Taking part in USA Basketball’s Hoops for Troops program as well, Krzyzewski and the USA Men’s National Team conducted an open practice for approximately 3,100 military members and their families on July 14 at the D.C. Armory.
Currently in his 33rd season at Duke, Krzyzewski led his team to a 27-7 record in 2011-12, reaching his 27th NCAA Tournament and recording his 903rd win to become Division I college basketball's all-time wins leader.
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection; training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
USA teams are the current men's and women's champions in the Olympics, men's and women's FIBA World Championships; women’s FIBA U19 World Champions; men's and women's FIBA U17 World Champions; and the men's and women's U18 and U16 FIBA Americas Championships; as well as the women’s FIBA 3X3 World Championship and 3x3 U18 World Championship.
USA Basketball also currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.