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Jul 15, 2020 12:00 AM est
2020 U.S. Open Basketball Championships
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Cori Close

In her third USA Basketball coaching assignment, Cori Close helped the USA to a gold medal as an assistant coach for the 2019 USA women's team that won a gold medal with a 7-0 record at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Bangkok, Thailand.

Previously, she served as an assistant coach for the 2018 USA Women's U18 National Team, which she helped lead to a 6-0 record and a gold medal at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, and she was a court coach at the 2017 USA Women’s U23 National Team Training Camp.

Close recently completed her ninth season at the helm of the UCLA women’s basketball program (2011-12 to present), where she has compiled an overall record of 198-104 record (.656 winning percentage) through the 2019-20 season.

The 2019-20 campaign, which was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic, saw Close lead her team to a 26-5 record and the Pacific-12 Conference Tournament semifinals.

In 2018-19, Close directed the Bruins to their fourth straight 20-win season and fourth consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 appearance. UCLA finished 22-13 overall, winning 13 of its last 17 games and finishing fourth in the Pacific-12 Conference.

UCLA also had seven top-25 wins, including wins over then-ranked No. 2 Oregon and No. 9 Maryland. The Bruins, who ranked second in the NCAA in offensive rebounds per game (17.3), became one of only eight teams to reach the Sweet 16 four years in a row. Close was named the 2018 United States Marine Corps/WBCA NCAA Division I Region 5 Coach of the Year, her second such honor.

She has led UCLA teams to at least 20 wins in each of the last three seasons, including 2017-18, which saw UCLA finish 27-8 and reach the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.

She also owns 18 seasons of experience as an NCAA assistant coach at UCLA, Florida State University and her alma mater, UC Santa Barbara.

She began her career as an assistant coach at UCLA in 1993-94 and 1994-95 before returning to her alma mater, UC Santa Barbara, as an assistant from 1995-96 to 2003-04. She then was an assistant coach at Florida State University for seven seasons (2004-05 to 2010-11). 

As an athlete, Close was a four-year starting point guard at UC Santa Barbara who captained the 1992 and 1993 teams to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. A native of Milpitas, California, she was a 1993 All-Big West first-team selection and the MVP of the 1993 Conference Tournament. Close was the first player in school history to record more than 1,000 points and 500 assists for a career. She averaged a school-record 8.3 assists per game in 1993. On April 30, 2005, Close was inducted into the UC Santa Barbara Athletics Hall of Fame.

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