Anne Donovan ('83) Shares 2008 USA Basketball National Coach Of The Year Award

January 15, 2009
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Jan. 15, 2009

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 15, 2009) -- USA Basketball today announced that its Board of Directors has chosen U.S. Olympic Team head coaches Anne Donovan (ODU'83) and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University (N.C.) 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."

Krzyzewski also made USA Basketball history as the first coach to receive the USA Basketball National Coach of the Year title in three consecutive years, having also won the honor in 2006 and 2007.

"I'm very honored, but what this award really recognizes is the commitment, dedication and selflessness of everyone involved with the USA men's team," Krzyzewski said. "Our success was achieved through hard work and teamwork. Everyone - Managing Director Jerry Colangelo, my coaching staff - Jim Boeheim, Mike D'Antoni and Nate McMillan - the support staff, and, of course, the players, had a hand in helping the team win Olympic gold. As I've said previously, we were blessed to have many of the world's best basketball players, and they not only played with great intensity and teamwork, but also represented the United States in a manner that made everyone proud. I also congratulate Anne Donovan with whom I share this year's award. Coach Donovan did a tremendous job with the women's Olympic team and in a short amount of preparation time, molded the women into a true gold medal team."

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. AIt 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).

Donovan was presented an honorary Doctorate's Degree in December by Old Dominion University.