COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. – Three-time Olympic gold medalist and South Carolina coach Dawn Staley has been named head coach for the 2014 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team, and coaches Kim Barnes Arico (Michigan) and Jeff Walz (Louisville) will assist her on the USA sideline. The coaching selections were made by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
“Dawn Staley has had tremendous success at every level both as a player and as a coach,” said Jim Foster, chair of the USA Women’s Junior National Team Committee and head coach at the Tennessee=Chattanooga. “Her commitment to USA Basketball has been consistent and long term. We look forward to working with her in her latest endeavor."
Staley will lead the USA at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship (dates and site TBA), which will feature eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. The top four finishing teams will qualify for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women.
A fixture on USA Basketball teams nearly every year from 1989-2004 during her playing career, Staley joined the USA sideline as a Women’s National Team assistant coach for the USA at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, the 2006 FIBA World Championship and the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship. As a USA Basketball head coach, Staley helped lead the 2010 USA Select Team that trained against the USA Women’s National Team, and she guided the USA to a gold medal and 5-0 record at the 2007 Pan American Games.
“I appreciate every opportunity I have to work with USA Basketball, an organization that I've worked with for almost half of my life,” Staley said. “I'm honored to be chosen and look forward to a different experience working with such a young group of athletes but in an organization I'm very familiar with.
“We've had some preliminary meet-and-greets over text messaging, but I look forward to working with both of them,” Staley said of her coaching staff. “I think both will have program insight that will ultimately help us win the gold medal.”
USA Basketball will conduct trials for the 2014 USA Women’s U18 National Team on May 23-27 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Players eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1996.
Originally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament, the U18 tournament was held every four years from 1998-2004. FIBA changed its calendar following the 2004 championship, 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 43-2 overall record in U18/Junior Qualifiers and have won gold in 1988, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012, while capturing silver medals in 1992 and 1996.