Doug Bruno, Jennifer Gillom, Marynell Meadors Return To USA Basketball As 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Assistant Coaches
Colorado Springs, Colo. • Jan. 20, 2012
- ESPNW Podcast featuring the coaching staff and 2012 U.S. Olympic Team hopeful Tamika Catchings
- Press Conference Quotes
- Press Conference Video (to come)
The trio of assistant coaches – DePaul University’s Doug Bruno, Olympic gold medalist and Washington Mystics assistant coach Jennifer Gillom and Atlanta Dream head coach Marynell Meadors – who served as assistants for the 2010 USA World Championship Team that captured gold and qualified the U.S. for the 2012 Olympic Games, will return this summer as assistants for USA head coach Geno Auriemma (University of Connecticut) and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. The selections, made by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Steering Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors, are pending approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
"The fact that Doug, Jen and Marynell and I got to spend time working together at the World Championship certainly is a huge help because we were successful,” said Hall of Famer Auriemma. “We worked very well together. The coaches and players responded very well to each other. It’s just going to be an extension of all the work we did leading up to the World Championship. I’m thrilled that we were able to keep the staff together. I know how much it means to Doug, Marynell and Jen, and I know they look forward, as I do, to winning a gold medal in London.”
|2012 U.S. Women’s Olympic Basketball Team Coaching Staff|
Geno Auriemma, University of Connecticut
Doug Bruno, University of DePaul
Jennifer Gillom, Washington Mystics
Marynell Meadors, Atlanta Dream
“It’s an honor. I’m honored and humbled to be working with a great head coach in Geno, great assistant coaches in Marynell and Jen, and most of all, the best female basketball players in the world,” said Bruno, who coached USA Basketball junior teams to gold medals in 2006 and 2007. “To be asked to be a part of that team is just a thrill and an honor.”
“I thought it was exciting as a player to be a part of an elite group like an Olympic team,” said 1988 U.S. Olympic gold medalist Gillom, who also captured gold medals on a pair of USA World Championship teams and more recently served as an assistant coach to the 2011 USA Pan American Games Team. “But, to then become a member of the coaching staff and being a part of an elite group on an Olympic staff nearly 25 years later, it’s amazing. I’m just ecstatic about it all. The emotions are pretty much the same. My first time as an athlete was one of the highlights of my career, but now that I’m coming into it in a totally different area, as a coach, it is even more exciting. It’s from two different aspects of the game, and I’m proud of this accomplishment and overwhelmed to be able to do this.”
“It is a tremendous honor to be selected,” said Meadors, who piloted the Dream to the 2010 and 2011 WNBA Finals. “I’m really excited to have the opportunity to work with Geno, Doug and Jen again. It is a great feeling for me because we were so in tuned to each other when we were at the World Championship and things just seemed to flow. I thought it was good that we had a great rapport with the players and coaching staff. To be chosen as one of the coaches for the Olympics is just a great honor for me.”
The 2012 U.S. Women’s Olympic Basketball Team will be named at a later date and will be selected from the previously announced USA National Team pool.
The USA Basketball Women’s National Team Steering Committee includes: USA Basketball Past President Val Ackerman, WNBA Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations Reneé Brown, USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director Carol Callan, Athlete Representative and five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards, and USA Basketball Executive Director/CEO Jim Tooley.
Two-time Olympic and two-time World Championship gold medalist Tamika Catchings joines USA assistant coach Doug Bruno in celebrating the USA's 2010 FIBA World Championship gold medal.
Bruno, who as an assistant coach for the 2010 USA World Championship Team helped the American women earn a 9-0 record, the gold medal and a berth in the 2012 Olympic Games, has been involved with USA Basketball teams since 2006.
“I think coaching staffs are just like teams, it’s all about chemistry. You win with chemistry on a basketball team, you win with chemistry on a coaching staff. To be able to compliment and give Geno anything that he needs to compliment his already Hall of Fame talents as a coach, is really how I approach the task at hand. The ability to scout our opponents and put already unbelievable talented women in a position to be even stronger through the knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of our opponents, I think it’s a place where I can also contribute.”
During his stint as an assistant coach with the 2009-10 USA National Team, Bruno aided head coach Geno Auriemma and the USA to a 3-0 mark and gold medal at the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational, a victory in the 2009 WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun game and a 3-1 pre-World Championship exhibition slate. Bruno returned in 2011 as a court coach for the USA’s mini-camp in Las Vegas in May, and was again on the sideline as the U.S. earned a 3-2 record during its fall European tour.
In all, including the 9-0 mark posted by the U.S. at the ’10 Worlds, Bruno has assisted the USA National Team to a 19-3 record and a World Championship gold medal since 2009.
Prior to being elevated to a USA National Team assistant coach, Bruno headed up a pair of age-based teams in back-to-back summers, compiling a perfect 16-0 record along the way.
In 2007, Bruno guided the USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team to a 9-0 mark and the gold medal at the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship in Bratislava, Slovakia. The USA dominated the competition by an average scoring margin of 34.6 points a game. Prior to the U19 Worlds, the USA notched a 3-0 record in an exhibition tournament.
Bruno’s first USA Basketball coaching assignment came in 2006 as head coach of the USA U18 FIBA Americas Championship Team. The USA tallied a 4-0 record in Colorado Springs, Colo., capturing the gold medal and qualifying the USA for the FIBA U19 World Championship.
For his efforts, Bruno was named the co-recipient of the 2006 and 2007 USA Basketball Developmental National Coach of the Year awards, becoming the first two-time winner of the award.
In his 27-plus seasons (1976-77 through 1977-78 and 1988-89 to present) at DePaul and having coached two seasons (1978-79 through 1979-80) in the Women's Basketball League (WBL), Bruno has compiled a head coach career record of 542-305 (.640 winning percentage) and a collegiate head coaching record of 502-275 (.646 winning percentage), including a 15-4 slate midway through the 2011-12 season (through 1/18/12).
Olympic hopeful Tina Charles and 1988 Olympic gold medalist Jen Gillom are all smiles after USA Basketball captured gold at the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
Having served as an assistant coach to the 2010 USA World Championship Team that claimed the gold medal, Gillom most recently served as an assistant coach for the 2011 USA Pan American Games Team. The squad, comprised of 11 collegiate players and one high school standout, went up against seasoned national teams and returned from the Pan Ams with a 2-2 record.
“A part of my duties as an assistant is scouting, and I was able to get a lot of experience with that at the World Championship and again last year at the Pan Am Games,” said Gillom, who on Jan. 17 was named as an assistant coach for the WNBA Washington Mystics. “I was able to scout Brazil in the Pan Ams and that kind of gives me a little bit of an advantage there. I have also been able to work a lot with the post players. I was able to spend a lot of time with Brittney Griner in the European training camp, which was exciting for me to be able to work with a player of her caliber and the other elite athletes on the team. I have a good relationship with many of our national team players from working with them at the World Championship, and I look forward to working with them again.
“It is important and very exciting for my mom to have two of her daughters who have participated in the Olympics, it means a lot to my family,” added Gillom, whose sister Peggie was an assistant coach alongside Auriemma with the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team. “My family is very supportive, and I think this gives them something to look forward to.”
In 2011 Gillom also assisted Auriemma and the USA National Team during its two training stints. She was a court coach during the team’s training camp that was held May 10-12, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nev.; and then aided the USA to a 3-2 record during its 2011 European Tour, Sept. 30-Oct. 9.
During her time as an assistant coach with the 2009-10 USA National Team, Gillom aided USA head coach Geno Auriemma and the USA to a 3-0 mark and gold medal at the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational, a victory in the 2009 WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun game and a 3-1 pre-World Championship exhibition slate. In all, and including the 9-0 mark posted by the U.S. at the ’10 Worlds, Gillom has assisted the USA National Team to a 19-3 record and a World Championship gold medal.
A player on six different USA Basketball teams, Gillom won five gold medals and one silver medal during her international basketball career as an athlete and was named the 1985 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year. A 1988 U.S. Olympic gold medalist, Gillom helped lead the 1986 and 2002 USA World Championship teams to gold, was a member of the 1987 USA Pan American Games and 1986 USA Goodwill Games squads that earned gold and garnered a silver medal with the 1985 USA World University Games Team. Additionally, Gillom served on the 2005-08 USA Basketball Cadet and Youth Committee.
The 2009 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee was hired by the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks as head coach on Dec. 14, 2010, after spending two years with the Minnesota Lynx. She guided Los Angeles to a WNBA Playoff appearance, despite losing all-star forward and Olympic gold medalist Candace Parker to a shoulder injury just 10 games into the 2010 season. However, after a 4-2 start in 2011, Parker injured her right knee in the Sparks’ seventh game, a loss to New York. Following three more losses, Gillom was replaced on the Sparks sidelines on July 10.
The 2002 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship of the Year award recipient, Gillom was signed by the WNBA and allocated to the Phoenix Mercury on Dec. 9, 1996. She spent the first six years with the Mercury and closed out her WNBA career with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2003. A member of the 1999 All-Star Game West Team, Gillom was also named to the 1997 All-WNBA first team and 1998 All-WNBA second team. Gillom helped lead the Mercury to three playoff berths (1997, 1998, 2000) where they advanced to one WNBA Finals, losing to Houston in the ‘98 WNBA Finals.
Gillom enjoyed a lengthy professional career overseas prior to joining the WNBA playing for teams in Italy, Greece, Spain and Turkey. Spending most of her time in Italy, Gillom played in Ansona, Messina, Milan and Taranto and was selected to several Italian League All-Star teams. She was the second leading scorer in the Italian league in both 1994-95 (28.3 ppg.) and 1995-96 (24.6 ppg.). During her stint in Turkey, Gillom aided her Istanbul-based Galatasaray squad to the 1998 Turkish Cup and 1998 Turkish championship, while averaging a EuroLeague high of 21.8 points a game in 14 EuroLeague contests.
Gillom played collegiately for 2004 Olympic head coach Van Chancellor at Ole Miss, where she was the 1986 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Female Athlete of the Year. A 1986 Kodak All-American, Gillom earned 1986 NCAA Midwest Regional MVP and 1985 All-Mideast Region honors and was a four-time All-SEC first team selection. She led the Lady Rebels in scoring her final three seasons and finished, behind her sister Peggie, as Ole Miss’ all-time second leading scorer (2,186 points). During her four-year career (1982-83 to 1985-86), Gillom helped her teams to a 103-23 record (.817 winning percentage), four NCAA appearances, including a pair of Sweet Sixteens (1983, 1984) and two Elite Eight finishes (1985, 1986), as well as a share of three SEC West titles.
Marynell Meadors and Angel McCoughtry show off their new hardware following the USA's 2010 FIBA World Championship gold medal victory.
Having served as an assistant coach to the 2010 USA World Championship Team that claimed the gold medal, Meadors returned to the USA Basketball Women’s National Team staff as a court coach during the team’s training camp that was held May 10-12, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nev.
“I’ve got experience in just about every area that you could think of,” said Meadors. “Through the years I’ve done a lot of different things as far as scouting goes, talking with the players, trying to help on the court situations and making suggestions to Geno. I think that it’s all of those things combined. Doug, Jen and I can just look at each other and know what each other is thinking. We’ve all had so much good experience that we can all give good, solid advice to Geno. Having the opportunity to work with some of his players and seeing their competitiveness … of the four coaches on this staff, I don’t think there are any more competitive coaches in the country than us four. The players know that. We know that they’re competitive; they want to win the gold medal. That is certainly our goal, to come away with that gold medal in 2012.”
In all, Meadors has been a member of four USA Basketball team staffs. In addition to her stint as an assistant to the 2010 USA World Championship Team that captured gold with an unblemished mark, Meadors served as the head coach for the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival East Team that captured a gold medal. She then was the assistant coach for the gold medal winning 1992 USA R. William Jones Cup Team and returned in 1993 as the head coach for the USA R. William Jones Cup squad that returned home with the bronze medal.
A seven-year WNBA head coach, Meadors has spent the last four seasons (2008-11) as head coach and general manager of the Atlanta Dream, where she orchestrated the second-best turnaround in league history. The Dream in its inaugural season in 2008 finished with a 4-30 mark, but after making some off-season trades and drafting eventual 2009 Rookie of the Year McCoughtry, Atlanta posted an 18-18 record and earned a 2009 playoff berth. For her efforts, Meadors earned the 2009 WNBA Coach of the Year award.
In 2010 Meadors coached the Dream to a new winning record as Atlanta posted 19 victories on the season and then upped the record again in 2011 with 20 wins en route to her second WNBA Finals appearance in as many years.
Previously, Meadors spent three years (1997-99) as head coach and general manager of the Charlotte Sting and finished second in the Eastern Conference in 1998 and 1999. Meadors, who owns a 105-89 head coaching record in the league, also served a three-year (2005-07) stint as an assistant coach for the Washington Mystics and aided the Mystics to a 50-52 mark and the 2006 playoffs.
In all, Meadors is a 38-year coaching veteran who got her start at Tennessee Tech in 1970-71. She spent 26 years as a collegiate head coach, 16 at Tennessee Tech (1970-71 through 1985-86) and 10 seasons at Florida State University (1986-87 through 1995-96), and guided teams to a 495-297 record for a 62.5 winning percentage. At Tennessee Tech, where she never posted a losing season and compiled 20 or more victories in 13 seasons, Meadors was the 1984 Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year.
Between WNBA coaching jobs, Meadors was an assistant coach on the sideline at the University of Pittsburgh for two seasons (2003-04 through 2004-05).
USA Basketball and the 2012 Olympic Games
Four-time defending Olympic gold medalists, the U.S. will look to capture a fifth straight gold medal and extend its 33-game Olympic winning streak at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. The Olympic basketball competition will be held July 28-Aug. 12 in the Olympic Park Basketball Arena and North Greenwich Arena.
Seven countries have claimed spots in the eventual 12-nation field, including host country Great Britain; the United States, which earned its berth by virtue of earning the gold medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship; and five nations which earned the gold medal at their respective FIBA zone qualifying tournaments, including Angola (FIBA Africa), Australia (FIBA Oceania), Brazil (FIBA Americas), China (FIBA Asia) and Russia (FIBA Europe).
The final five teams will earn their spots at the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament (June 21-July 1 in Ankara, Turkey), which will feature 12 nations from each of the five 2011 FIBA zone qualifying tournaments as follows: two from FIBA Africa, including Mali (bronze medalists) and Mozambique (fifth-place finisher); three from FIBA Americas, including Argentina (silver medal), Canada (bronze medalist) and Puerto Rico (fifth-place finisher); two from FIBA Asia, including South Korea (silver medalist) and Japan (bronze medalist); four from FIBA Europe, including Turkey (silver medalist), France (bronze medalist), Czech Republic (fourth place) and Croatia (fifth place); and New Zealand from FIBA Oceania (silver medalist).