Geno Auriemma Named USOC Co-National Coach Of The Year
The United States Olympic Committee today announced its annual award recipients for 2016 national coaches of the year, and 2009-16 USA Basketball Women’s National Team head coach Geno Auriemma was named as a 2016 USOC Co-National Coach of the Year for guiding the U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team to dominating gold-medal performance in Rio. Auriemma, the Hall of Fame coach at the University of Connecticut, shares the honor with Aimee Boorman (Sarasota, Fla.) from USA Gymnastics.
Auriemma is the first coach in U.S. women’s history to lead back-to-back Olympic teams and the first to capture consecutive Olympic gold medals. In 2016, he not only guided the USA to an 8-0 mark in Rio, Auriemma led the U.S. squad to a 4-0 exhibition slate against a USA Select Team and national teams from Australia, Canada and France.
Overall, USA Basketball teams with Auriemma on the sideline are 50-1 in official FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions. Including exhibition games, Auriemma has helped USA teams compile an overall record of 90-9 and a 73-9 mark as a head coach.
Auriemma’s award marks the third time a USA Basketball coach has been honored by the USOC. In 1996 the inaugural USOC Coach of the Year honor went to Stanford University’s Tara VanDerveer, who coached the historic 1995-96 USA Basketball Women’s National Team to an overall 60-0 record in exhibition and Olympic play, and captured Olympic gold in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 2012 Don Showalter, who currently is the USA Basketball director of coach development, and head coach of USA Basketball’s Junior National Teams (U16 and U17) since 2009, earned the USOC Volunteer Coach of the Year award for his work with the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team, which included a perfect 8-0 record and gold medal at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship.
Also honored by the USOC were Adam Bleakney (Paralympic track and field; Champaign, Ill.), who was recognized as Paralympic National Coach of the Year; Kim Zmeskal-Burdette (gymnastics; Houston) was selected Developmental Coach of the Year; Tom Miller (speedskating; Lake Placid, New York) was named Volunteer Coach of the Year and Derek Davis (archery; Bronx, New York) took home the Doc Councilman Science Award.
National Governing Bodies selected their 2016 Coaches of the Year as part of the USOC Coach of the Year Recognition Program. Three national finalists in each category were selected by a panel of coaching and sport education professionals.
Co-National Coaches of the Year – Geno Auriemma, USA Basketball
In 2016, Auriemma led the U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team to its sixth straight – and eighth overall – gold medal in Rio, extending its winning streak to 49 straight. Scoring more than 100 points in six of its eight games, the 2016 squad topped opponents by an average of 37.2 points per game and became the second-most prolific Olympic scoring team, trailing only the 1996 squad. Completing the tournament with an 8-0 record, Auriemma improved his Olympic head coaching record to a perfect 16-0, stemming from 2012.
Co-National Coach of the Year – Aimee Boorman, USA Gymnastics
Boorman, the 2016 head coach for the gold‐medal-winning U.S. Olympic Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Team, also served as personal coach to four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles. Under Boorman’s direction, Team USA became the first U.S. squad to defend its gold medal in the team competition and the first team to win back-to-back Olympic golds since Romania did so in 2000 and 2004. The team secured gold with 184.897 points – more than eight points over second-place Russia. Boorman also guided Biles in becoming the most decorated U.S. gymnast in history with 19 career world and Olympic medals. In Rio, Biles became the first American gymnast to win four golds at a single Games and one of only four women to accomplish the feat in Olympic history.
Paralympic National Coach of the Year – Adam Bleakney, U.S. Paralympic Track and Field
Bleakney further established himself as one of this best wheelchair racing coaches in the world after leading the U.S. women to a podium sweep in the 1,500- and 5,000-meter events against one of the strongest wheelchair fields in Paralympic Games history. He guided 12 athletes in winning 15 medals in Rio, including Tatyana McFadden (four golds, two silvers); Chelsea McClammer (two silvers, one bronze); Amanda McGrory (one silver, two bronzes); and Ray Martin (two golds, one silver). Under his tutelage, McFadden continued to dominate the wheelchair marathon scene, winning four major marathons in 2016 for the fourth consecutive year.
Developmental Coach of the Year – Kim Zmeskal-Burdette, USA Gymnastics
Zmeskal-Burdette led athletes to numerous national and international titles in junior Olympic, junior elite, and senior elite competition in 2016, including 10 medals at the 2016 Junior Olympic National Championships. Under her direction, U.S. national team member Emma Malabuyo won eight medals – including three golds – on the international circuit, marking the most international medals of any U.S. junior elite gymnast in 2016. Zmeskal also oversaw the development of Ragan Smith, who was named an alternate for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team after she finished only six-tenths of a point behind three-time Olympic champion Gabby Douglas in her senior elite debut.
Volunteer Coach of the Year – Tom Miller, Adirondack Speedskating Club
Miller guided athletes to standout performance over multiple distances in 2016, helping develop the next generation of elite U.S. speedskaters. Under his tutelage, Esther Munoz was named to the U.S. Junior Development Team for her second year, winning the 2016 Junior Ladies AmCup and finishing fifth at the U.S. Junior National Speedskating Championships. He also led Fletcher Codd to his first U.S. Junior Development Team selection, and all-around men’s titles at the Shea Sprint and Jewtraw All-Around Championships. Also under his direction, Sydney-Yu Terpening won the US Speedskating Junior C Ladies National Age Class Championship title and placed second at the US Speedskating Junior National Championships.
National Doc Counsilman Science Award – Derek Davis, USA Archery
Davis’ technological advances have greatly altered performance tracking in archery. His use of high-speed, 360-degree cameras offer athletes and coaches a more efficient perspective and comprehensive understanding of performance patterns in practice that can be applied to competition. He also implemented a brain-wave-analysis program, which helps archers ignore outside distractions and noise when shooting. The program is designed to play music at high volumes when the archer is at full draw to enhance focus during practice and competition. His teachings have led to the success of the Columbia University Women’s Archery Team, which earned national titles in both compound and recurve in 2016.