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Florida's Billy Donovan Returns To Lead 2015 USA U19 World Championship Team

  • Date:
    Jan 13, 2015

-- Ed Cooley, Sean Miller Also Back After Assisting 2014 U18 Team To Gold --

After helping coach the 2014 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team to a dominating run through the FIBA Americas U18 Championship en route to a 5-0 record and the gold medal, USA Basketball today announced the return of the entire coaching staff to lead the 2015 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team, headed by University of Florida head coach Billy Donovan and assisted by college head coaches Ed Cooley from Providence College and Sean Miller from the University of Arizona. The coaching staff was selected by the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee, which is chaired by Syracuse University’s Hall of Fame head coach Jim Boeheim, and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.

            “Our U19 team is going to really benefit from another year with Coach Donovan, Coach Cooley and Coach Miller,” said Boeheim. “They had great success last summer, winning the gold medal, and we’re confident the squad is going to continue to improve with this staff in place.”

            Defending U19 gold medalists, the USA squad will attempt to replicate that feat at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men, which will be held June 27-July 5 in Crete, Greece.

            Donovan, who becomes the USA’s first repeat U19 head coach, owns an unblemished 19-0 record as a USA Basketball head coach, after also having led the 2013 USA U19 World Championship Team to a perfect 9-0 record and the gold medal in Prague, Czech Republic, and the 2012 USA U18 National Team to a 5-0 slate and gold in Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil.

            The USA has captured a record five U19 gold medals and three silver medals in the 11 editions of the event, which was first held in 1979. Held every four years through 2007, the U19s are now held every other year. The USA owns an all-time win-loss record of 78-13 at the U19s.

            In one of the more competitive tournaments on the USA Basketball calendar, the FIBA U19 World Championship has seen only one country repeat as champions after the U.S. captured back-to-back gold medals in 1979 and 1983. Since then, Yugoslavia (1987), Greece (1995), Spain (1999), Australia (2003), Serbia (2007) and Lithuania (2011) have won a single gold medal, with the USA also earning gold in 1991, 2009 and 2013.

            “USA Basketball has been a first-class organization to be a part of over the past several years, and it is an honor to be able to come back and represent our country again this summer,” said two-time NCAA champion Donovan, who was named a co-recipient of the 2013 USA Basketball Developmental National Coach of the Year award. “Sean Miller and Ed Cooley are both great guys and excellent coaches. It was very rewarding for me working side by side with them on the U18 team last summer, and it will be great to have that continuity with the staff again with the U19 team.”

            A three-time Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year (2011, 2013, 2014), Donovan has posted 16 consecutive 20-win seasons, three 30-win seasons and a school-record of 36 wins in 2014. He has led his teams to postseason play in 17-straight seasons, missing postseason play in his first year only (1996-97).

            In the middle of his 21st season (1994-95 to present) as a collegiate head coach and his 19th year at the helm of the Florida Gators (1996-97 to present), Donovan has compiled an overall head coaching record of 495-195 (.717 winning percentage) and a record of 460-175 (.724 winning percentage) at Florida (all records through 1/12/15), including his 9-6 start to the 2014-15 season.

            While at Florida, Donovan has won two NCAA national championships (2006 and 2007), made three NCAA title-game appearances (2000, 2006 and 2007) and reached 14 NCAA Tournaments. Additionally, he has won six SEC regular season championships (2000, 2001, 2007,2011, 2013 and 2014) and four SEC Tournament championships (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2014). In the past nine seasons, he has led Florida to six Elite Eight appearances, and three Final Four appearances.

            After a 2012-13 campaign that featured a 19-15 record and a trip to the NIT quarterfinals, Cooley led the Friars to a 23-12 record in 2013-14, a Big East Conference Tournament title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament as the 11th-seed in the East Regional, advancing to the second round.

            “I have so much respect for USA Basketball,” said Cooley, who first served as a court coach for the 2013 USA Men’s U19 World Championship Team training camp prior to taking on his assistant coach role with the 2014 USA U18 National Team. “It is an honor to be asked to help coach this squad. I feel blessed to be able to come back and help after we won the gold medal last summer.

            “I learned so much last summer working with Billy and Sean. I believe that we have a great chemistry. I feel very fortunate to be asked to work with such talented individuals.”

            In the midst of his ninth season (2006-07 to present) as a collegiate head coach, Cooley has compiled a career head coaching record of 162-117 (.581 winning percentage) and is off to a 12-4 start in 2014-15 (all records through 1/12/15).

            In his 11th season (2004-05 to present) as a collegiate head coach, Miller has compiled a 263-97 career record for an impressive .731 winning percentage (all records through 1/12/15). In over five seasons (2009-10 to present), Miller’s Arizona squads boast a 143-50 mark (.741 winning percentage), including a 14-2 record midway through the 2014-15 season.

            “I believe it’s an honor to be associated with USA Basketball in any capacity,” said Miller, who participated in the 1991 World University Games as a player and brought home gold prior to helping lead the 2014 USA U18 National Team to gold as an assistant coach. “I look forward to the opportunity of working with the USA team members and this coaching staff as we pursue our quest of winning another gold medal.

            “One of the things I really enjoyed about last summer’s experience with the U18 team was working with Billy Donovan, Ed Cooley and all the members of the USA Basketball staff. I learned a lot during that period of time, in addition to being a part of a gold medal experience. The continuity from one summer to the next will not only be a great experience for all of us as coaches, but will also enhance the team’s chances for success.”

            In 2014, Miller’s fifth year at Arizona, he coached his team to a 21-0 start before finishing the season 33-5. Miller led the Wildcats to a Pacific-12 regular season title and to a No.1 seed in the West Region of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, advancing to the Elite Eight. For his efforts, Miller was named the 2014 United States Basketball Writers of America District IX Coach of the Year and earned his second Pac-12 John R. Wooden Coach of the Year honor.

            In addition to Boeheim, the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee includes NCAA appointees Bob McKillop (Davidson), Matt Painter (Purdue) and Lorenzo Romar (Washington).

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