A member of seven previous USA Basketball coaching staffs and the 2011 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year, WNBA Connecticut Sun president Jennifer Rizzotti was named on June 20, 2019, as an assistant coach for the 2019-20 USA Basketball Women's National Team through the Tokyo Olympic Games. And on April 9, 2021, it was announced that Rizzotti will pull double duty in 2021 as an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic Team and USA AmeriCup Team.
Rizzotti served as an assistant coach to the 2018 USA World Cup Team that captured gold in Tenerife, Spain, and qualified the USA for the 2020 Olympics, and in 2019 was on the sideline as an assistant for the 2019 USA AmeriCup Team that captured the gold medal with a 6-0 mark in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She returned to the USA National Team sideline for one more exhibition game in 2020, a win against her alma mater.
“I am extremely honored to be a part of the USA National Team staff through the 2020 Olympic Games and I’m tremendously excited to build upon this group's chemistry from the 2018 World Cup in Spain,” said Rizzotti. “Dawn has been a mentor to me and a myriad of other former players in the coaching profession. It is a unique privilege to work side by side with a three-time Olympian, as well as the past two WNBA championship coaches in Cheryl Reeves and Dan Hughes.
“Having worked as a scout during the 2016 Olympics and 2014 World Cup, I am aware of the preparation, hard work and dedication the athletes and coaching staff put into winning an Olympic gold medal. I am thrilled to don the red, white and blue once again to help the USA National Team in its quest to win a seventh consecutive gold medal in Tokyo next year.”
Rizzotti served as an advance scout/court coach for the gold-medal winning 2016 U.S. Olympic and 2014 USA World Cup teams, and she also served as court coach during USA National Team training camps from 2014-17.
Rizzotti began coaching with USA Basketball as an assistant for the 2006 USA U18 National Team that claimed gold and as a head coach led the 2010 USA U18 National Team and 2011 USA U19 World Cup Team to gold medals. As an athlete, Rizzotti was a member of the 1996 USA R. William Jones Cup that earned the gold medal with a 9-0 slate.
Named as the Sun president on April 20, 2021, Rizzotti in her new role will be responsible for the business operations and marketing strategies for the WNBA team
Rizzotti completed her first season at George Washington in 2016-17 with a 20-10 slate, including 13-3 in the Atlantic 10 Conference for a share of the A-10 regular season title, and earned a berth in the WNIT.
In her second year at GW, she piloted her squad to a 19-14 slate, the 2018 A-10 Tournament title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
In all, Rizzotti owned a 72-74 record in her five years at George Washington.
Prior to arriving at GW, Rizzotti spent 17 seasons (1999-2000 through 2015-16) at the helm of the University of Hartford where she compiled a 316-216 record (.594 winning percentage), including 183-97 (.654) in America East Conference play, won five conference championships and four regular-season titles. She was named America East Coach of the Year three times (2006, 2007, 2010) and advanced her teams to six NCAA Tournaments and the 2007 WNIT.
In all, Rizzotti compiled a record of 316-216 (.594), including 183-97 (.654) in America East play, and won five conference championships and four regular-season titles. She was named America East Coach of the Year three times (2006, 2007, 2010) and developed three dozen all-conference players, including a pair of America East Players of the Year, an America East Defensive Player of the Year and an America East Rookie of the Year, as well as the program's first-ever WNBA draftee.
As a student-athlete at the University of Connecticut, Rizzotti first vaulted into the national spotlight as the starting point guard for the Huskies' first national championship team in 1995 with an undefeated 35-0 record. During the run to the national title, Rizzotti was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
A former All-American and the NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player after her junior and senior seasons, in 1996 Rizzotti virtually swept the postseason awards as Big East Player of the Year, Big East Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the Associated Press Player of the Year, the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the Wade Trophy winner.
Rizzotti graduated as UConn's career leader in assists (637) and steals (349) and still ranks second all-time in those categories.
As a coach and formerly as a student-athlete, Rizzotti's focus on academics has always been exemplary. Under her guidance, Hartford was ranked among the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Academic Top 25 teams on three occasions. Another accolade from her playing days was awarded in June 2016 when the two-time Academic All-American and 1996 Academic All-American of the Year was officially inducted into the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Hall of Fame.
Rizzotti played eight seasons of professional basketball following her graduation from UConn in 1996. In addition to five seasons in the WNBA - two with the Houston Comets and three with the Cleveland Rockers - she competed for three seasons with the New England Blizzard in the American Basketball League. In the ABL she was a two-time All-Star.
Rizzotti and her husband, Bill Sullivan, have two sons, Holden and Conor.