January 15, 2009 – USA Basketball today announced that it has chosen U.S. Olympic Team head coaches Anne Donovan and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University as co-recipients of the 2008 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award.
Donovan and Krzyzewski each piloted their respective USA team to a perfect record in Beijing, securing the USA two Olympic gold medals and automatic berths into the 2010 FIBA World Championship for both the USA men and women.
This is the second such honor for Donovan, who shared the USA Basketball National Coach of the Award with Krzyzewski in 2007 as well. Having also won Olympic gold medals as a player in 1984 and 1988 and as an assistant coach in 2004, Donovan’s 2008 medal made her the first person in USA Basketball history to be a part of Olympic gold medal winning teams as both and athlete and head coach.
“I take great pride in the award, but it’s certainly not just for me,” Donovan said. “It’s a culmination of a lot of hard work by our players, the assistant coaches and the USA Basketball staff, who stuck through a very difficult three-year period of transition in our Women’s National Team program. I feel so full of pride and very blessed about what we accomplished in those three years, but there are a lot of people who have a hand in that trophy.”
The 2008 Women’s National Team captured the USA’s fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal, making it the first traditional women’s team sport to do so in Olympic history, while the USA men reclaimed the No. 1 spot after an eight-year absence atop the podium in major international competitions.
“Anne and Mike have both been involved with USA Basketball for a number of years. Their time and commitment to our organization, especially over the past three years, has been extraordinary. It is only fitting that their efforts resulted in two gold medals,” said USA Basketball Executive Director Jim Tooley. “USA Basketball is extremely grateful for their leadership, knowledge and hard work that have led to great success for USA Basketball.”
USA Basketball also will nominate Donovan and Krzyzewski for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s 2008 National Coach of the Year award, which is expected to be announced in the Spring of 2009.
“Congratulations to Anne. She sacrificed time, put in the effort of a three-year commitment, dealing with the training, dealing with some of us being there, some of us not, all the changes, all the ups and downs,” said Katie Smith, three-time Olympic gold medalist. “It was nice, from my perspective at least, to have that consistency with the coaches and especially Anne. She put in her system and we knew how we were going to get things done, how to use our talents. That consistency really helped throughout the last couple years. Anne not only has a passion for the game of basketball itself, she really has a passion for USA Basketball because of her history, understanding how hard it is. There’s also her pride and excitement of representing her country, going out there and leaving it all on the floor. She really did all that, and it showed throughout the Olympics and especially in the gold medal game.”
USA Basketball’s 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.
Other previous USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award winners include 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).
Since her first coaching assignment in 1997, USA Basketball teams with Donovan on the sidelines have racked up an impressive 132-10 record for a sterling 93.0 winning percentage.
In the year of 2008, Donovan led three USA teams to a 17-2 overall tally, including an 8-0 record in the Beijing Olympics; a 3-0 slate at the pre-Olympic FIBA Diamond Ball Tournament in Haining, China; a 4-2 slate and silver medal at the Good Luck Beijing Tournament in April; and two wins over professional teams in a March Tour of Spain.
In addition to her 2008 accomplishments, Donovan headed the USA to a 5-0 record and gold medal at the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship and an 8-1 record and bronze medal at the 2006 World Championship.
As an assistant coach, she has collected a 75-4 record (94.9 winning percentage) and helped the USA to gold medals at the 2004 Olympics and 1998 and 2002 World Championship, as well as the 2002 Opals World Challenge title, a silver medal at the 1997 World Championship Qualifier and 12-1 exhibition records in both 1997 and 1998.
Inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995 and into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999, Donovan has been a player on a remarkable 11 USA Basketball teams and is one of the most decorated players in USA Basketball history. She won gold as a member of the 1984 and 1988 U.S. Olympic Teams, 1983 and 1987 Pan American Games Teams, 1986 World Championship Team and the 1978 and 1979 U.S. Olympic Festival East Team. Additionally, she won silver medals at the 1983 World Championship and 1981 World University Games and helped the USA place fifth in the 1977 R. William Jones Cup.
(via press release)