Bill Fennelly Named Head Coach of 2011 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team
Colorado Springs, Colo. • April 21, 2011
A three-time gold medal winner as a USA assistant coach, USA Basketball today announced that Iowa State University’s Bill Fennelly will return to the USA sideline as head coach of the 2011 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team. Serving as assistant coaches will be Suzie McConnell-Serio (Duquesne University) and Terri Williams-Flournoy (Georgetown University).
The trio will look to defend the USA’s 2009 gold medal at the 2011 World University Games women’s basketball competition August 14-21 in Shenzhen, China.
“Being named a head coach by USA Basketball is one of the greatest honors of my professional life,” Fennelly said. “I am humbled and thankful that USA Basketball has given me this opportunity.
“I know we will have a great staff with Suzie and Terri,” Fennelly continued. “I think they are two of the best young coaches in the country, and they are even better people. Our athletes are really going to enjoy working with them.”
The coaching selections were made by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
“All three coaches have had success on the basketball court, and the committee feels their combined experience will be a tremendous asset to this team and its players,” said Sue Donohoe, NCAA Vice President for Division I women’s basketball and chair of the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee. “Bill has recently won two gold medals for the USA, Suzie is an Olympic gold medalist who played in the World University Games herself in 1991 and Terri has done an impressive job at Georgetown in addition to her many years as a collegiate coach.”
While Fennelly undertakes his fourth USA Basketball coaching assignment, McConnell-Serio is a four-time USA gold medalist as an athlete, including the 1998 Olympics and 1986 FIBA World Championship and Williams-Flournoy is new to USA Basketball.
“I’m extremely excited and honored to be coaching for USA Basketball because it was an amazing experience as a player, and this is an incredible opportunity for me,” McConnell-Serio said. “I really look forward to working with Bill and Terri. Terri and I were teammates at Penn State. I’ve been impressed by the way Bill's teams play. I’m excited to be working with two great coaches.”
“I am very excited to have an opportunity to join the USA basketball family,” Williams-Flournoy said. “I am looking forward to working with Bill, who has done a wonderful job at Iowa State, as well as reuniting with my teammate from Penn State, Suzie. USA Basketball is a great organization, and I am truly thrilled about being a part of the 2011 USA Women’s World University Games Team.”
Trials to select the official, 12-member USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team will be held May 22-25 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Following the selection of the team and/or finalists on May 25, the athletes will return home. Training will resume at the U.S. Olympic Training Center July 31-Aug. 8, prior to the team’s departure for Shenzhen, China, and the 2011 World University Games.
The World University Games are held every other year and are organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The games are a multi-sport competition open to women who are currently enrolled in college and have remaining collegiate eligibility.
USA Basketball women's teams have participated in 15 prior World University Games and collected a record seven gold medals, six silvers and one bronze medal. Since 1973, the first year the USA women competed in the WUGs, the United States has compiled an 89-15 record.
In 2009 the USA, led by 2010 FIBA World Champion Tina Charles, posted a 7-0 slate en route to the gold medal.
Notable among the list impressive list of WUG alumni are Olympians Seimone Augustus, Carol Blazejowski, Ruthie Bolton, Sylvia Fowles, Pat Head (Summitt), Katrina McClain, McConnell (Serio), Ann Meyers (Drysdale), Lisa Leslie, DeLisha Milton-Jones, Cappie Pondexter, Ruth Riley, Katie Smith, Katy Steding, Tina Thompson, Kara Wolters and Lynette Woodward.
In addition to Donohoe, the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee includes NCAA appointees Joanne Boyle (University of Virginia), Coquese Washington (Penn State University) and Connie Yori (University of Nebraska), as well as athlete representative Beth Cunningham (1999 USA Pan American Games Team).
A three-time USA Basketball gold medalist as an assistant coach, Fennelly takes on his first head coach position with the red, white and blue. Previously, he helped the USA to a gold medal and an 8-1 record at the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship in Thailand; a gold medal and 5-0 record in the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Argentina; and a gold medal and 3-1 record with the South Team in the 1994 U.S. Olympic Festival. Overall, he owns a 16-2 record with USA Basketball.
Fennelly has spent 16 seasons (1995-96 to present) as head women's basketball coach at Iowa State, where he has compiled a 354-160 record (.689 winning percentage) and led the Cyclones to 14 postseason tournaments.
Including seven seasons (1988-89 to 1994-95) as the head mentor at The University of Toledo, Fennelly owns 23 seasons as a collegiate head coach. He has tallied a career slate of 520-213, and his 70.9 winning percentage ranks among the top 25 active winningest NCAA Division I coaches. In a combined 23 seasons at Iowa State and Toledo, Fennelly has posted a 20-win season 17 times.
Most recently in 2010-11, he piloted the Cyclones to a 22-11 record and an NCAA Tournament appearance.
In 2009-10, he led his team to a 25-8 record and the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, and with a 27-9 mark in 2008-09 he tied the program's record for number of wins.
In his first year at Iowa State in 1995-96, Fennelly took over a program that had recorded just five winning seasons in its 22-year history. He has since led the Cyclones to the 1999 and 2009 NCAA Elite Eight; the Sweet Sixteen in 2000, 2001 and 2010; and the second round in 1998, 2002, 2007 and 2008. Additionally, he led his team to the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) Final Four in 2004 and the WNIT second round in 2006.
Fennelly is a three-time finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award (2001, 2002 and 2005), and his peers twice have voted him WBCA District 5 Coach of the Year (1999 and 2005).
His 17 seasons with the Cyclones are highlighted by the only two Big 12 Conference Tournament titles in school history (2000 and 2001) and the program's best record of 27 wins, recorded in 1999-00, 2000-01 and 2008-09.
Fennelly came to ISU from Toledo, where he compiled a seven-year record of 166-53 (.758 winning percentage). His list of accomplishments at Toledo include six 20-plus win seasons and six postseason tournament berths. He guided the Rockets to three NCAA Tournament appearances, as well as second, third and fifth place finishes in the WNIT. In 2003, he was inducted into the Toledo Varsity 'T' Hall of Fame.
A native of Davenport, Iowa, Fennelly accumulated 12 years of collegiate experience as an assistant coach prior to accepting his first head coaching position, including stints at his alma mater William Penn College (1976-77 through 1980-81), Fresno State University (1981-82 through 1985-86) and the University of Notre Dame (1986-87 and 1987-88).
While McConnell-Serio undertakes her first USA Basketball coaching assignment, she earned four gold medals as an athlete for the red, white and blue, including the 1988 Olympics, the 1986 FIBA World Championship, the 1991 World University Games and the 1985 R. William Jones Cup. She also collected a bronze medal with the USA at the 1992 Olympics and served on the USA Basketball Executive Committee from 2001-2004.
In four seasons at Duquesne (2007-08 to present), she has compiled a 79-48 overall record (.622 winning percentage) and reached the past three postseason WNITs.
In 2010-11, she led her squad to a 24-9 mark, recording the program’s first postseason victory in the WNIT and leading all NCAA Division I teams with 14 road victories. The 24 wins established a new high for the program, as did the team’s 2,291 points, 835 made field goals, 1,312 rebounds, 517 assists, 362 steals and 155 blocked shots.
In her first season in 2007-08, Duquesne finished 15-15, a dramatic improvement for a team that had been 7-20 the year prior. She followed that up with the program’s first 20-win season and a record for wins at the time with a 20-12 mark in 2008-09. Also in 2009, Duquesne reached the school’s first postseason berth with a WNIT appearance and set then school records for points scored (2,208) and assists (487).
The Dukes again finished with a 20-12 record and WNIT appearance in 2009-10 and received votes in the AP national rankings for the first time since 2002. As a result, McConnell-Serio was named the 2010 Dapper Dan Sportswoman of the Year for a second time, the first recognition coming in 1999.
McConnell-Serio spent nearly four seasons (2003 through July 2006) as the head coach of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. In her first season, she led the Lynx to a then-record for wins with an 18-16 finish, including a trip to the franchise’s first WNBA Playoffs. The Lynx finished 18-16 again in 2004 and made another playoff appearance, and McConnell-Serio was tabbed the 2004 WNBA Coach of the Year.
She began her coaching career at Oakland Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, where she worked for 13 seasons (1990-91 through 2002-03) and won three Class 4A state titles (1993, 2001, 2003) and four District 7 (WPIAL) championships. She compiled a 321-86 overall record (.789 winning percentage) at Oakland Catholic and averaged more than 24 wins per season. Nearly a dozen of her former players went on to earn NCAA Division I scholarships.
As an athlete, she played four varsity seasons at Penn State University (1984-85 through 1987-88), where she was the first All-American selection in Penn State women’s basketball history (Kodak and Street & Smith’s in 1988), four times earned All-Atlantic 10 Conference first team recognition and was awarded the 1988 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, given to the best player in women’s basketball 5’8” or shorter. She compiled a 95-33 record and four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance as a Nittany Lion. She set NCAA Division I records for career assists (1,307), assists in a season (355 in 1986-87) and season assist average (11.8 in 1996-97). Her assist total and assists per game led the nation in 1985-86 and 1986-87.
Drafted 16th overall in the 1998 WNBA Draft by the Cleveland Rockers, she played three seasons with Cleveland. She was named WNBA Newcomer of the Year and to the All-WNBA first team in 1998 and earned the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award in 1998 and 2000.
McConnell-Serio was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame with the Class of 2008 and the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. She has been honored as a USA Today All-Time Women’s Basketball Team selection, as one of Sports Illustrated’s Top 50 Pennsylvania Athletes of the Century and as the best basketball player of all-time, male or female, 5’4” or shorter in the Oct. 29, 2007 issue of Sports Illustrated.
New to USA Basketball, Williams-Flournoy has spent seven seasons (2004-05 to present) on the sideline of Georgetown University, where she has compiled a 120-95 overall record (.558 winning percentage).
Finishing 24-11 in 2010-11, Williams-Flournoy and the Hoyas reached the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen before falling to the University of Connecticut. Georgetown was ranked in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls for the entire year, reaching as high as No. 11 on the A.P. poll and No. 12 on the ESPN/USA Today poll.
In 2009-10, she led the squad to a 26-7 overall record along with a 13-0 record at home in McDonough Arena. The Hoyas spent 12 weeks in the national rankings and earned the program's second bid to the NCAA Tournament, defeating Marist in the first round before falling to Baylor University. Williams-Flournoy was recognized as the 2010 Coach of the Year by the Black Coaches Association.
In 2008-09, Williams-Flournoy led the Hoyas to a 20-14 overall record, the program's first 20-win season since 1992-93. The Hoyas had an impressive run through the WNIT advancing to the quarterfinals, which was further than any team had advanced in postseason play in the program's history.
In 12 seasons as a collegiate assistant coach, including positions at Georgetown (1992-93 through 1995-96), Southwest Missouri State University (2002-03 through 2003-04) and the University of Georgia (1996-97 through 2001-02), she compiled a 251-116 record. She has been a part of nine NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 1999 Final Four and 1993 Sweet Sixteen with Georgetown and regional finals appearances with Georgia in 1997 and 2000.
Returning to GU as a head coach in 2004 was a homecoming for Williams-Flournoy, as she began her collegiate coaching career as an assistant coach with the Hoyas. Her four-year stint as an assistant at Georgetown saw the program achieve its first bid to the NCAA Tournament in 1993, as the team finished the year with a 23-7 overall mark and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.
During her two seasons at Southwest Missouri State (now known as Missouri State University), Williams-Flournoy was a part of two-straight NCAA Tournaments and two-consecutive Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championships. Southwest Missouri State finished the 2003-04 season with a 28-4 record and won the regular season Missouri Valley Conference title.
At Georgia, Williams-Flournoy was recruiting coordinator for the program during a time when Georgia made six straight NCAA Tournament appearances. During Williams-Flournoy's tenure, the Bulldogs won Southeastern Conference titles in 1997 and 2000, the SEC tournament in 2001 and produced seven current WNBA players.
A 1991 graduate of Penn State University with a degree in business management, Williams-Flournoy was a four-year (1987-88 through 1990-91) letterwinning basketball player for the Lady Lions. Penn State won the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament championship in each of Williams-Flournoy's last two seasons and was a participant in the NCAA Tournament in three of her four seasons. In 1988, 1990 and 1991 Williams-Flournoy and the Lady Lions advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and in 1991, Penn State was ranked as high as No. 1 in the country.
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball 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 United States 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 basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
Since 2008, USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams have compiled a sterling 96-2 win-loss record in FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions. USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions in the Olympics, FIBA World Championships; U19 and U17 FIBA World Championships; and U18 and U16 FIBA Americas championships.
USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.
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