As of March 8, 2016Named as the head coach of the 2016 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team on March 8, 2016, Suzie McConnell-Serio will undertake her second USA Basketball coaching assignment after having helped the USA to a 6-0 record and gold medal as an assistant coach at the 2011 World University Games.
As a USA Basketball athlete, she earned four gold medals, including the 1988 Olympics, the 1986 FIBA World Championship, the 1991 World University Games and the 1985 R. William Jones Cup, and a bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics.
Additionally, she served on the USA Basketball Executive Committee from 2001-2004.
In nine seasons as a collegiate head coach overall, she owns a 167-118 record (all records are as of March 8, 2016).
McConnell-Serio is in her third season as the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh, and thus far in 2015-16, Pitt is 13-18.
After an 11-20 campaign in her first season with the Panthers, McConnell-Serio guided Pitt to a 20-12 overall record in 2014-15, including one win in NCAA Tournament, and she was named as a 2014-15 Naismith National Coach of the Year semifinalist.
Prior to Pitt, she spent six seasons at the helm of the Duquesne University women’s basketball program (2007-08 to 2012-13), where she compiled a 123-68 overall record (.644 winning percentage) and reached five consecutive WNITs.
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. McConnell-Serio was named the 2010 Dapper Dan Sportswoman of the Year for a second time, the first recognition coming in 1999.
In 2010-11, she led her squad to a 24-9 mark, recorded the program’s first WNIT victory. 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 2011-12, she led her team to a 20-12 record, and in her final season in 2012-13, Duquesne tied a school record with 24 wins and had the best single-season winning percentage in program history at .750.
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 again finished 18-16 in 2004, 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 and 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 she earned All-Atlantic 10 Conference first team, and she was awarded the 1988 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award. She compiled a 95-33 record and four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances 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 she 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.