Gonzaga’s Mark Few Named Head Coach Of 2015 U.S. Pan American Men’s Basketball Team
Mark Few of Gonzaga University will serve as head coach of the 2015 U.S. Pan American Men’s Basketball Team, while the University of Colorado’s Tad Boyle and longtime NBA coach Mike Brown were selected as assistant coaches.
The 2015 Pan American Games men’s basketball competition will take place July 21-25 in Toronto, Canada. The 12-member U.S. Pan American Men’s Basketball Team will be comprised of current professionals who are in the NBA Development League or playing overseas, as well as returning collegiate players.
The USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee is responsible for selecting the U.S. coaching staff, which is approved by the United States Olympic Committee.
“Our U.S. Pan American Basketball Team is going to benefit from the combined coaching skills of Coach Few, Coach Boyle and Coach Brown,” said Jim Boeheim (Syracuse University), chair of the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee. “This group of players is fortunate to have a staff with successful backgrounds at the college and professional levels. Coach Few already has been a part of a gold-medal winning staff with USA Basketball, while Coach Boyle and Coach Brown are tremendous additions to the program.”
Having recently completed his 16th season (1999-00 to present) as head coach at Gonzaga, Few has compiled a 438-103 overall record, making him the winningest active coach by percentage in the nation (.810). Most recently in 2014-15, he led Gonzaga to a 35-3 record and the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.
Few enters his first USA Basketball head coach position after having served as an assistant coach for the 2012 USA U18 National Team, and he was a court coach for the 2009 USA Men's U19 World Championship/World University Games Team training camp.
“It’s an honor to represent our country and also be associated with USA Basketball,” Few said. “I’ve had a great time with all of my other USA Basketball experiences, and I’m really looking forward to working with Mike, Tad, Sean (Ford), B.J (Johnson) and this team.”
In five years at the helm of the University of Colorado (2010-11 to present), Boyle has compiled a 108-68 overall record. In nine seasons as a collegiate head coach overall, including four at the helm of the University of Northern Colorado, Boyle has compiled a 164-134 career record.
Boyle previously served as a court coach for USA Basketball at the 2013 USA Men’s World University Games Team training camp.
“Number one, it’s a great honor,” Boyle said. “Anytime you are asked to serve your country and an organization such as USA Basketball, it’s an honor. To have an opportunity to be around a guy like Mark Few, who is a heck of a coach, and I consider him a good friend, is another added bonus. It’s a tremendous honor.
“And Mike Brown, he’s been a head coach in the NBA,” Boyle added. “He has coached the best players in the world. To learn from him and what the pro game is like will be beneficial as well. I’m looking forward to the opportunity. It’s going to be a lot of fun – an intense month, but an enjoyable one.”
Longtime NBA coach Brown takes on his first USA Basketball coaching assignment as an assistant coach for the 2015 U.S. Pan American Men’s Basketball Team.
In more than seven seasons as an NBA head coach, including six seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers and one-plus with the Los Angeles Lakers, he owns an impressive all-time record of 347-216 (.616 winning percentage). Leading teams to the NBA Playoffs six times, his teams compiled a 47-36 record in the playoffs. Brown was named the 2009 NBA Coach of the Year after guiding Cleveland to a league and franchise-best 66-16 record. He also boasts of seven seasons as an NBA assistant coach, including positions with the Washington Wizards, San Antonio Spurs and the Indiana Pacers.
“I'm excited for this opportunity, “Brown said. “It is always a thrill to represent the United States. I have always admired and respected Mark Few and Tad Boyle, and I always appreciate being around bright coaches like them. And, at the same time, I look forward to working with some of the best young players in the United States.”
The USA men’s training camp will take place July 6-20 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and in Chicago, Illinois, prior to the start of the competition. Players eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens.
The USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee also includes NCAA appointees: Bob McKillop (Davidson), Matt Painter (Purdue) and Lorenzo Romar (Washington); and athlete representative Curtis Sumpter, who won a gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2004 FIBA Americas U20 Championship and a bronze medal at the 2011 Pan American Games.
2015 Pan American Games
The Pan American Games are a multi-sport event featuring teams from North, South and Central American and the Caribbean, which are organized by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) and played every four years in the year preceding the Olympics (2015, 2019, etc.).
The U.S. men have been placed into Group A and will play all three of its preliminary round games at 9 p.m. EDT, including Venezuela on July 21, Puerto Rico on July 22 and Brazil on July 23. Competing in Group B will be Argentina, Canada, Dominican Republic and Mexico.
The top two teams from each preliminary-round group will advance to the medal-round semifinals on July 24, while the third and fourth-placed teams will play for fifth-eighth places. The semifinal winners will compete for the gold medal on July 25, and the semifinal losers will play for bronze.
Beginning with the first Pan American Games men’s basketball competition in 1951, the USA dominated the first five events, earning five consecutive gold medals. At the 1971 Pan Ams, despite a record of 2-1 in the preliminary round, the USA did not advance to the medal round, and for the first time in Pan American Games history, did not win the gold medal. The United States rebounded, however, for a 26-0 record over the next three Pan Am Games and captured its most recent Pan Am gold in 1983. Overall, the Americans have compiled an 87-15 record and captured eight gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals.
In 2011, the USA team, comprised of players and coaches from the NBA Development Leauge fought to a well-earned 94-92 bronze medal victory over the Dominican Republic in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Many USA Basketball athletes who have played in a Pan American Games have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games, while many others enjoyed stellar professional careers. In all, 34 Pan Am athletes have been a member of a U.S. Olympic squad, including Ernie Grunfeld, Grant Hill, Luscious Jackson, Michael Jordan, Christian Laettner, Danny Manning, Chris Mullin, Emeka Okafor, Sam Perkins, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Isiah Thomas, Jerry West and Jo Jo White.
Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA Basketball, chaired by Jerry Colangelo, is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men’s and women’s basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions, and for the development of youth basketball initiatives that address player development, coach education and safety.
USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams between 2012-14 compiled a spectacular 122-4 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the World University Games and the Nike Hoop Summit, and posted a 65-8 win-loss record in official FIBA and FIBA Americas 3x3 competitions.
USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions in the Olympics; men’s FIBA World Cup and women’s FIBA World Championship; men’s and women’s FIBA U19 and U17 World Championships; men’s and women’s U18 and U16 FIBA Americas Championships; the FIBA 3x3 Women’s World Championship; the FIBA 3x3 Women’s U18 World Championship; and the women’s Youth Olympic Games. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA’s world-ranking categories, including combined, men’s, women’s, boys and girls.