Gregg Popovich

Gregg Popovich Named 2017-20 USA National Team Head Coach

  • Date:
    Oct 23, 2015

-- Jerry Colangelo To Continue Through 2020 As USA Men’s National Team Managing Director, 

Mike Krzyzewski To Serve 2017-20 In Special Advisory Role --

Photo Gallery: Gregg Popovich
Teleconference Transcript

The future leadership for the USA Basketball Men’s National Team was disclosed today when USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo officially announced that five-time NBA championship and longtime San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has been named head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team for the 2017-20 quadrennium. Additionally, USA Basketball announced that Colangelo will continue in 2017-20 as Managing Director of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team and that current USA National Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski following the 2016 Rio Olympics will move into a special advisor role with Colangelo and the USA National Team for 2017-20. USA Basketball’s Board of Directors approved the three selections.

As head coach, Popovich will coach the USA National Team over the course of the 2017-20 quad, which could possibly include all USA Men’s National Team training camps, and if the USA qualifies, the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China (dates TBD) and the 2020 Summer Olympic Games (July 24-Aug. 9) in Tokyo, Japan.

“I’m extremely humbled and honored to have the opportunity to represent our country as the coach of the USA National Team,” said Popovich, a 1970 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. “What the program has accomplished over the last decade under the leadership of Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski is truly impressive. I will do my utmost to maintain the high standards of success, class and character established by Jerry, Coach K and the many players who have sacrificed their time on behalf of USA Basketball.”

The USA National Team currently owns a 63-game winning streak that dates back to 2006 and includes 45 consecutive victories in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions and 18 consecutive exhibition wins. The USA men have won back-to-back Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) and back-to-back FIBA World Cup gold medals (2010 and 2014) for the first time ever.

“I’m absolutely delighted to announce Gregg Popovich as head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team for 2017-20. There is no doubt in my mind that we have the great fortune of bringing on board one of the NBA’s best and most successful coaches ever to lead the USA National Team for the 2017-20 quadrennium. By making this decision now, it will allow us to have a clean, efficient and immediate transition following the 2016 Olympic Games,” said Colangelo, who has served as the Managing Director of USA Basketball Men’s National Team program since 2005 and has seen those teams compile a 75-1 record

“Obviously this is an incredibly exciting step for the USA Basketball Men’s National Team program as we will transition following the 2016 Rio Olympics from one of the game’s greatest coaches in Mike Krzyzewski to another of basketball’s greatest coaches in Gregg Popovich. This progression plan will also help ensure that our National Team will continue to build on the culture and success we have achieved since launching the program.

“The USA Basketball Men’s National Team since 2005 has accomplished a number of remarkable things. We have established the United States as the world’s number one basketball country, and done so by showing the utmost respect for the sport and for all nations and players. Our players have been dedicated and committed to our gold medal standards and are positive ambassadors for the sport and for the United States. I’m confident that this will continue to be the case with Coach Popovich as our head coach.

“The 2017-20 quadrennium will be challenging with FIBA’s announced changes to its competition schedule and the new qualifying process for the World Cup and Olympics. With FIBA moving the FIBA World Cup to 2019, a year later than when it has been held in the past, we will need to reorganize how we prepare for our international competitions.

 “Lastly, I am excited and looking forward to continuing to lead the USA National Team program in 2017-20 and along with everyone associated with USA Basketball, we are excited that Coach K has agreed to stay on as a special advisor for 2017-20. There’s no question that we will benefit from his vision and his experiences with USA Basketball and in international basketball.”

Since 2006, USA National Teams have compiled a spectacular 75-1 record and claimed top honors in five of six FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions. Just as importantly as the USA National Team’s success on the court, the duo also reestablished the USA National Team and its members as positive ambassadors for the United States and the sport.

“I am honored, and thrilled, to continue with USA Basketball in the role of special advisor. Since Jerry Colangelo invited me to play a larger part in the USA Basketball program in 2005, this experience has been so rewarding professionally and personally,” said Krzyzewski. “Some of the most exhilarating moments in my coaching career have occurred because of that association, so I am humbled to continue the affiliation with USA Basketball in this capacity. Until then, we have significant work to do to properly prepare our team for the challenges we’ll face in Rio at the 2016 Olympics.

“Gregg Popovich is the ideal choice to take over as head coach of the USA program. His long track record of success – both in terms of winning championships and creating a culture of excellence – are well documented and, rightfully so, he is considered among the very best coaches in the world. Because of his military background in which he selflessly served his country, coupled with his unique ability to bring out the best in his teams, this leadership appointment makes perfect sense. Undeniably, he will incorporate the highest of standards, which are unique to him, that will only enhance the USA Basketball program. I look forward to working with and learning from Gregg and Jerry Colangelo as they lead Team USA into the future.”

USA Basketball initiated its historic men’s national team program in 2005 and capped the 2005-2008 quad with a magnificent gold medal run at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The USA Basketball National Team program during the three-year period between 2006 and 2008 compiled a striking 36-1 overall win-loss record.

The USA national squad culminated the 2005-08 quadrennium by finishing 8-0 to reclaim the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It was the USA national squad’s first gold in a major international competition since 2000.  The USA National Team also won gold at the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship with a 10-0 record to qualify the U.S. men for the 2008 Olympic Games. In the program’s first year, the U.S. captured the bronze medal with an 8-1 record at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan.

With Colangelo and Krzyzewski returning to lead the USA Basketball National Team for the 2009-12 quadrennium, the national team complied a perfect 26-0 record and won gold medals at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey and at the 2012 London Olympics.

The 2014-16 quadrennium got off to a sensational start as the Coach K led Americans for the first time repeated as FIBA World Cup champions and compiled another perfect 9-0 record in Spain.

Since first fielding a team of legendary NBA stars in 1992, USA Basketball National Teams comprised of NBA players have claimed gold medals in 13 of 16 major international basketball competitions, while compiling an impressive 126-7 overall record (.947 winning percentage) in those competitions, and posting a record of 46-1 (.979 winning percentage) in exhibition games.

Gregg Popovich

In 19 seasons (1996-97 through 2014-15) as head coach of the NBA San Antonio Spurs, Popovich currently stands as the longest tenured active coach in both the NBA and in all U.S. major sports leagues. He ranks third all-time among NBA coaches for the most consecutive winning regular seasons with 18, behind only Pat Riley (19) and Phil Jackson (20). Popovich has led San Antonio Spurs teams to five NBA championships (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014) and lists as one of just five coaches in NBA history to win five or more NBA titles.

Entering the 2015-16 season owning a sterling 1,022-470 (.685 winning percentage) all-time regular season record, his current .685 winning percentage ranks third in NBA history trailing only Jackson (.704) and Billy Cunningham (.698).  He is one of nine coaches in NBA history to have won 1,000 NBA games, has won more games than any active NBA coach and his 1,022 wins with one team ranks second all-time in NBA history, trailing only Jerry Sloan’s 1,127 wins with the Utah Jazz. He owns a 152-94 record (.618 winning percentage) in NBA playoffs and ranks third all-time for playoff wins behind Jackson and Riley. Popovich has been named NBA Coach of the Year three times, in 2003, 2012 and 2014.

Internationally, Popovich served as an assistant coach for three USA Basketball national teams and compiled an overall record of 29-7, while winning one gold and one bronze medal. He served as an assistant coach for the 2002 USA World Championship Team that finished in sixth place with a 6-3 record, the 2003 USA FIBA Americas Championship Team (FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament) that captured a 10-0 record, a gold medal and a qualifying berth for the 2004 Olympics, and as an assistant to Larry Brown and the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team that won a bronze medal with a 5-3 record.

Popovich graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1970, and while there, played basketball for four seasons. As a senior he served as the team captain and finished as the leading scorer averaging 14.3 ppg. Popovich served five years of required active duty in the United States Air Force, during which time he toured Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union with the U.S. Armed Forces Basketball Team. In 1972, he was selected captain of the Armed Forces Team, which won the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) championship. He was among 66 players invited by the U.S. Olympic Basketball Games Committee to try out for the 1972 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team.

Popovich returned in 1973 to the Air Force Academy and was head coach of the USAFA Prep School for three seasons (1973-74 through 1975-76). He spent three seasons (1976-77 through 1978-79) as an assistant at the U.S. Air Force Academy and in 1979 was named the head basketball coach of Pomona and Pitzer Colleges combined men's basketball team. Popovich coached the Pomona-Pitzer men's basketball for eight seasons (1979-80 through 1985-86 and 1987-88,) and in 1985-86 led the team to its first conference championship in 68 years and to a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Taking off the 1986-87 season at Pomona-Pitzer to become a volunteer assistant for Larry Brown at the University of Kansas, Popovich returned to coach Pomona-Pitzer in 1987-88.

Popovich joined Larry Brown as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs in 1988-89 and in four seasons helped the Spurs claim two Midwest Division titles. In the summer of 1992 he was named an assistant coach on Don Nelson’s Golden State Warriors staff.

After two seasons with Golden State, Popovich was named the San Antonio Sours general manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations on May 31, 1994. After the Spurs started the 1996-97 season 3-15, he took over as head coach. In 1998-99, his second full season as the Spurs head coach, he led San Antonio to an NBA championship.

USA Basketball

Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA Basketball, chaired by Colangelo, is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men’s and women’s basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions, and for the development of youth basketball initiatives that address player development, coach education and safety.

 



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