Northwestern’s Joe McKeown To Coach 2015 USA Women’s World University Games Team
-- Tennessee’s Holly Warlick, Northern Iowa’s Tanya Warren Named Assistant Coaches --
USA Basketball today announced Northwestern University head coach Joe McKeown as the head coach for the 2015 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team. McKeown and the USA squad will be assisted by collegiate head coaches Holly Warlick from the University of Tennessee and Tanya Warren from the University of Northern Iowa. The coaching staff was selected by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
“While Joe McKeown, Holly Warlick and Tanya Warren haven't coached for USA Basketball previously, they all three bring outstanding experience as coaches in the college game,” said Jim Foster (Tennessee at Chattanooga), chair of the USA Women’s Junior National Team Committee. “The committee really feels that given their achievements with their respective teams, they will be able to continue the success that USA Basketball has enjoyed at the World University Games.”
The 2015 World University Games women’s basketball competition will be held July 4-13 in Gwangju, South Korea. Held every other year, the World University Games is organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The WUGs are a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24 (born between 1/1/88 and 12/31/98), who are enrolled as a full-time collegiate student with remaining eligibility for the 2015-16 school year.
Trials to select the 2015 USA World University Games Team will be held May 14-17, 2015, at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Invitations to attend trials will be issued in April to approximately 30 athletes who have at least one year of collegiate eligibility remaining.
“It’s a great honor to named the head coach for the World University Games team and to be involved with USA Basketball,” said McKeown. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to represent Northwestern University. I especially want to thank Carol Callan and USA Basketball for thinking of me and having the confidence to name me as the coach of this team and allowing me to be part of this prestigious program.
“I’m thrilled to share the bench with a gifted coaching staff that includes Holly Warlick and Tanya Warren. It will provide all three of us with great experiences and allow us to share ideas with one another as we take this team to South Korea. There is a wealth of knowledge on this staff, and we will work hard to represent the United States. I’m already looking forward to training camp, and of course, on to South Korea to go after the gold medal.”
McKeown is a 29-year (1986-87 to present) coaching veteran who has compiled a 620-284 (.686) record overall and a 111-110 (.502) record in seven seasons at Northwestern. Prior to his arrival, Northwestern had last advanced to the postseason in 1997, and in just his second year McKeown took NU to the WNIT Sweet 16.
This past season McKeown coached the Wildcats to a 23-9 record, which marked the program’s most victories since the 1995-96 season, and NU received a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1997. When Northwestern entered the Associated Press top-25 poll for the first time since 1996 in February, McKeown became only the 10th head coach to lead at least three different programs to that distinction having also done so in stops at New Mexico State and George Washington.
“It’s just a tremendous honor to be a player and represent our country and now to be asked to coach with USA Basketball,” said Warlick, a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team. “I feel like it’s an opportunity to give back to the players and to USA Basketball for the opportunities I had, and also it’s a chance for me to learn and grow as well. I’ve always dreamed of doing this, and I am extremely excited to be part of the coaching staff for our World University Games Team.
“Both coach McKeown and coach Warren are very successful coaches and proven winners. They have different styles and philosophies, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for each of them. I’ve watched their teams, how they run their programs and how they handle their players. I look forward to learning and sharing ideas as we work together, and I know they will represent our country with a great amount of respect and will be as passionate about this as I am.”
Longtime Tennessee assistant and associate head coach, Warlick took the helm of Tennessee in 2012-13, and the program didn’t miss a beat. She guided the Lady Vols to a 27-8 record, the Southeastern Conference regular season title and the NCAA Elite Eight. For her efforts, Warlick earned the 2013 WBCA Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year and SEC Coach of the Year awards.
In her second season the Lady Vols posted a 29-6 record, captured the SEC Tournament crown and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. Most recently Tennessee tied for the 2014-15 SEC regular season title, returned to the NCAA Elite Eight and finished the season with a 30-6 record.
In addition to being a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team, which did not compete in the Moscow Olympics, Warlick and the 1980 U.S. team won gold at the 1980 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. She also captured a gold medal playing for the USA at the 1979 FIBA World Championship, marking the first gold medal for the USA at the FIBA World Championships since 1957 and breaking a streak of five-straight golds by the USSR, a silver medal at the 1979 Pan American Games and gold at the 1979 R. William Jones Cup.
“I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to work for USA Basketball and represent my country in the upcoming World University Games,” said Warren. “I can’t wait to work with Joe, Holly and our athletes as we compete for our country.
“Working with coaches and players from different conferences across the country will be a tremendous learning experience for everyone. I am excited to work with two of the best coaches in women's basketball.”
Warren, who is a two-time Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year, owns an eight-year (2007-08 to present) record of 138-119 (.537) as UNI’s head coach. She has taken her team to five postseason tournaments and in 2012, captured the program’s first victory in postseason play as the Panthers advanced to the Women’s Basketball Invitational championship game. Warren also piloted the Panthers to their first NCAA Tournament in program history in 2010 and turned it into back-to-back appearances after claiming the 2011 MVC regular season and tournament titles to earn a second NCAA Tournament bid.
In addition to Foster, the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee includes NCAA appointees Melanie Balcomb (Vanderbilt), Lindsay Gottlieb (California) and Joi Williams (UCF); and athlete representative Kara Lawson Barling, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist.
2015 World University Games
USA Basketball women’s teams have participated in 17 World University Games and collected a record nine golds, six silvers and one bronze medal. Further, since 1973, the first year the USA women competed in the WUGs, USA women’s teams have compiled an overall 101-15 record. The USA has won gold medals in the past five WUGs in which it has competed (2001, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013).
In 2013, led by tournament co-MVP Odyssey Sims, who went on to earn gold as a member of the 2014 USA World Championship Team, the USA won by an average of 34.8 points per game and finished 6-0 to claim the gold medal.
Notable among the list of USA WUG alumni are 2012 Olympic gold medalists Seimone Augustus, Tina Charles, Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore. Additionally, Olympians Carol Blazejowski, Ruthie Bolton, Anne Donovan, Pat Head (Summitt), Lisa Leslie, Katrina McClain, Suzie McConnell (Serio), Ann Meyers (Drysdale), DeLisha Milton-Jones, Cappie Pondexter, Ruth Riley, Katie Smith, Dawn Staley, Katy Steding, Tina Thompson, Kara Wolters and Lynette Woodward played for the USA in the World University Games.