Northern Illinois' Carol Owens To Lead 2008 USA Women's U18 National Team
George Washington's Joe McKeown and Terri Mitchell of Marquette To Assist
May 12, 2008 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
Northern Illinois University's Carol Owens, who owns two gold medals as a USA Basketball assistant coach, has been tabbed head coach of the 2008 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team and will be assisted by Joe McKeown of George Washington University and Terri Mitchell of Marquette University, USA Basketball today announced. The coaching staff selections were made by the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee, chaired by Sue Donohoe of the NCAA, and approved by USA Basketball's Executive Committee.
'Just having the experience of international basketball and working with the young ladies at this age group is always exciting,' Owens said. 'My focus is to really educate them on the elite level of USA Basketball and the expectations we have for them. As a staff we need to come together early and lay down the foundation because it's such a young group. It's a critical age, and there will be some great players who go on to join great programs.
'I've known Coach McKeown throughout the years, and I have a fond respect for what he has done at George Washington, his defensive principles and the players that have come out of his program. Terri Mitchell is someone I have seen a lot after being an assistant at Notre Dame, and I have tremendous respect for her as well. They are both great coaches, and they come with a lot of experience. I hope to learn from them both, and I know they are excited.'
The trio will coach the nation's elite 18-and-unders (born on or after Jan. 1, 1990) at the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women, which will be held July 23-27 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The top four finishing teams in the 2008 zone qualifier will earn berths to compete in the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women, scheduled for July 23-Aug. 2 in Bangkok, Thailand.
USA Basketball will conduct trials for its 2008 U18 National Team June 9-12 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., where approximately 35 U.S. hopefuls will compete for one of the team's 12 roster spots.
Following trials, the Women's Collegiate Committee is expected to announce the 12-member roster plus alternates, who will train with the team during its July 10-18 training camp in Colorado Springs.
In addition to Donohoe, who is the NCAA's vice president of Division I women's basketball, the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee includes: athlete representatives Beth Cunningham (Virginia Commonwealth University), a member of the 1999 USA Pan American Games Team, and 1996 Olympic gold medalist Carla McGhee; Martha Gore-Algernon (University of Mobile); NCAA appointees include Sherri Coale (University of Oklahoma), Jim Foster (Ohio State University), Trina Patterson (University at Albany) and Tara VanDerveer (Stanford University); Mary 'Roonie' Scovel (Gulf Coast Community College) represents the NJCAA; and Wendy Larry (Old Dominion University) was appointed to the committee by the WBCA.
Owens has completed four seasons on
the NIU sidelines as head coach.
Owens returns to the USA Basketball sideline having previously served on two gold medal winning USA staffs. In her first assignment in 2006, she assisted the USA Women's U18 National Team to a perfect 4-0 record and gold medal at the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Colorado Springs, Colo. That first place finish qualified the USA to compete in the 2007 U19 FIBA World Championship, where she was again an assistant. The 2007 USA U19 women compiled a 9-0 tally and collected the gold medal at the World Championship in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Owens donned a USA Basketball jersey as a 1989 USA Basketball Women's National Team Trials participant and as co-captain of the North squad that captured the silver medal at the 1986 U.S. Olympic Festival.
The 2007-08 season, in which the Huskies tallied a 10-18 record, marked Owens' third season (2005-06 to present) at Northern Illinois, where she has compiled a career record of 41-47.
In 2006-07, Owens led Northern Illinois to the program's best season since 2001-02, posting a 19-12 tally overall and a 8-8 slate in Mid-American Conference (MAC) play.
In her first season as head coach at Northern Illinois, 2005-06, Owens led her squad to a 12-17 overall record and 7-9 for league play, improvements on the previous year's 7-21 and 4-12 records.
Prior to arriving at NIU, Owens spent 10 seasons (1995-96 through 2004-05) as an assistant at the University of Notre Dame. Owens helped coach five Fighting Irish players who went on to gain USA Basketball experience, including 2004 Olympic gold medalist Ruth Riley. Owens helped Notre Dame reach 10 NCAA Tournaments, six Sweet Sixteens, two Final Fours and the program's first national championship in 2001. During her tenure, Notre Dame compiled a record of 252-75 (.771 winning percentage).
As a player at Northern Illinois, Owens was a member of the team that gained the school's first NCAA Tournament berth in 1990. The first male or female in school history to reach the 2,000 career point/1,000 career rebound mark, Owens was MVP of a team that won the North Star Conference (NSC) regular season championship and advanced to the 1990 NCAA Tournament second round.
Owens was a two-time Kodak District Four All-American (1989 and 1990), a United States Basketball Writers Association District Four All-American (1990), the North Star Player of the Year (1990), a three-year All-NSC first team pick (1988-90) and a three-time Huskie captain.
She graduated with 13 school records, including career highs for points (2,102), field goals made (818), blocked shots (244); a single-season record for steals (86); and single-game records for points (41), field goals made (16), field goal percentage (.917), steals (11) and blocked shots (7).
Owens was enshrined into the Northern Illinois University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2001. She played professional basketball overseas from 1990 through 1993 in Japan, Spain and Italy.
McKeown is the wininngest coach in
George Washington and Atlantic 10
women's basketball history.
The winningest coach in George Washington and Atlantic 10 Conference women's basketball history, McKeown has compiled a 441-154 record (.741 winning percentage) in 19 seasons (1989-90 to present) as head coach of the Colonials.
He will undertake his first USA Basketball assistant coaching assignment on the heels of a 27-7 season that saw his 2007-08 squad capture a share of the Atlantic 10 Conference regular season title and reach the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
'It's exciting for me to work with USA Basketball again. I was a part of the Olympic trials in 1992, and that was a great personal experience for me,' McKeown said. 'This is another great opportunity, but it will be very different because you are talking about 18-year-old, or even 17-year-old, athletes.
'I think my strength is my 22 years of experience as a head coach. I'm looking forward to contributing to USA Basketball again, and I plan to work with the girls in a very positive way to help them see the bigger picture and what it represents.'
Overall, McKeown owns a 509-174 record (.745 winning percentage) in 22 seasons as a head coach. He has reached 17 NCAA Tournaments, advancing as far as the Elite Eight in 1997, the Sweet Sixteen in 1995, 2007 and 2008 and the second round on nine occasions. Also playing in the WNIT in 1993 and 2002, McKeown has taken his teams to post season play in all but three of his 22 seasons.
McKeown's 509 career victories rank 21st on the Division I active coaches list and 34th all-time; his 74.5 winning percentage is 13th on the active list and 12th all-time; and his 19 20-win seasons rank tied for 16th on the all-time list.
The five-time Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year (1991, 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2007) recently posted one of his most accomplished seasons. In 2006-07, McKeown and the Colonials finished with a school-record tying 28 victories and just four losses, including a perfect 14-0 league record and an NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance.
McKeown began his coaching career in 1979-80 as an assistant at his alma mater, Kent State University, helping the program to a 21-8 record in his only season with the Golden Flashes.
In 1983 he joined the University of Oklahoma, again as an assistant coach (1983-84 to 1985-86), where he helped the Sooners to three consecutive 20-win seasons, including the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 1986 and the WNIT in 1984.
McKeown's first head coaching position came at New Mexico State University in 1986. In three seasons
(1986-87 to 1988-89), he guided the program to a 68-20 overall record (.773 winning percentage), two NCAA Tournament appearances and two 20-win campaigns (1987 and 1988). Following a 26-3 season in 1987-88, he was named the High Country Conference Coach of the Year.
As an athlete at Mercer College in Trenton, N.J., McKeown earned Junior College National Small Player of the Year honors after helping his team reach a 33-1 record and the 1976 NJCAA championship game. McKeown transferred to Kent State the following season, 1976-77, and was co-captain of the Golden Flashes as a senior in 1977-78. He earned All-Mid-American Conference honorable mention in 1978, and his school single-game record of 15 assists still stands after 30 years.
Mitchell is the all-time winningest and
quickest coach to 150 wins in Marquette
women's basketball history.
(Maggie Casey / Marquette Athletics)
Mitchell enters her first USA Basketball coaching assignment following an outstanding 21-14 season that saw her Golden Eagles capture the 2008 WNIT championship with an 81-66 win over Michigan State University. Mitchell earned her third Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division I Women's Coach of the Year award, having also earned the honor in 1999 and 2007.
'I know the caliber of coaches that coach for USA Basketball, and it's an incredible honor to have this opportunity,' Mitchell said. 'When you are around other great coaches and the nation's best players, whether they are 18 or not, you have be on top of your game and have that competitive edge. I know that will make me a better coach. Everyone is different about what motivates them, and I hope I can meet each player where they are at, and then inspire them to reach another level.'
The all-time winningest and quickest coach to 150 wins in program history, Mitchell has compiled an overall 238-130 record (.647 winning percentage) in 12 seasons (1996-97 to present) as head coach at Marquette.
Recording eight 20-win seasons and averaging 19.8 wins per season, Mitchell has taken her teams to more post season action than any other Marquette women's basketball coach, including six NCAA Tournament appearances (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2007) and four WNIT berths (2003, 2005, 2006 and 2008). She also reached the WNIT championship game in 2006.
In 2006-07, Mitchell guided Marquette to its best season ever, a 26-7 tally that included a school record 14-game win streak and the program's first national ranking since 1999-00. In addition to her WBCA Coach of the Year title, she was rewarded with Big East Coach of the Year honors.
Mitchell also was recognized as the Conference USA Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2000.
In her first season as head coach of the Golden Eagles in 1996-97. Mitchell guided the team to a 21-10 record, 13 wins better than the previous season, which set a new mark for wins by a Marquette first-year head coach. The turnaround was the largest of any first-year NCAA Division I women's head coach and the third-best improvement among all D-I women's programs that year. In addition, she became the only coach in school history to take her team to the NCAA Tournament in her first season, as the program recorded its first ever NCAA Tournament win.
Prior to becoming Marquette's head coach, Mitchell was an assistant for the Golden Eagles for five seasons (1991-92 to 1995-96). Marquette posted an 87-61 record and made three postseason appearances during Mitchell's tenure as an assistant.
2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women
The FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women will feature eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean from July 23-27 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The top four finishing teams qualify for the 2009 FIBA U19 Women's World Championship, which will be held July 23-Aug. 2 in Bangkok, Thailand.
In the preliminary round, the eight participating teams will be divided into two groups of four teams each. After playing the three other teams in the preliminary round, the top two finishing teams from each group will advance to the medal round semifinals, while the third and fourth place finishing teams will meet in the consolation round semifinals. The gold medal, bronze medal, 5th/6th place and 7th/8th place games will be played on July 27.
Originally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament, the event had been held every four years since 1988. FIBA changed its calendar, however, and the tournament is now conducted every other year, followed in the next summer by the FIBA U19 World Championship.
USA women's teams boast of a remarkable 28-2 overall record in U18/Junior Qualifiers and have won gold in 1988, 2000, 2004 and 2006, while capturing silver in 1992 and 1996.