Doug Bruno To Lead 2007 USA Women's U19 Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – DePaul University's (Ill.) Doug Bruno has been tabbed head coach of the 2007 USA Basketball U19 Women's World Championship Team and will be assisted by two-time Olympian and Prairie View A&M University (Texas) head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke and former USA Basketball player and Northern Illinois University head mentor Carol Owens, USA Basketball today announced.

The coaching staff selections were made by the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee, which is chaired by Sue Donohoe of the NCAA, and approved by USA Basketball's Executive Committee.

"Whenever you represent the United States our expectations are very simple–to win gold," Bruno said. "There is no question this will be a tougher tournament than this past summer, but I really feel like the committee will be able to find 12 19-and-unders that are up to the challenge. Most of the players will have had a year of college experience, and that should result in a huge increase in ability over this past summer.

"I'm very excited about our coaching staff. Carol Owens, along with Jen Rizzotti, did a great job last season, and this season Cynthia Cooper brings a wealth of international experience to our team. Cynthia has been there at every level of world competition."

The trio will coach the nation's elite 19-and-unders (born on or after Jan. 1, 1988) in hopes of winning a gold medal at the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women, which will be held July 26–Aug. 5 in Bratislava, Slovakia.

While Cooper will serve in her first USA Basketball coaching assignment, Bruno and Owens return to the sidelines after leading the 2006 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team to a perfect 4-0 record and gold medal at the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, held June 28-July 2 in Colorado Springs, Colo. That first place finish, along with second, third and fourth place finishes by Canada, Argentina and Brazil, respectively, qualified those four teams from the FIBA Americas zone to compete in the 2007 U19 World Championship.

USA Basketball will conduct trials for its 2007 U19 National Team from May 17-20 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., with approximately 30 U.S. hopefuls participating. The USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee also will select the finalists for the U19 National Team. Following trials in May, the Americans will break until July when they reassemble to begin training. The final 12-member roster will be selected prior to the start of the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship.

Player selections will be made by the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee, which in addition to Donohoe, the NCAA's vice president of Division I women's basketball, includes: athlete representatives Beth Cunningham (Virginia Commonwealth University), a member of the 1999 USA Pan American Games Team, and 1996 Olympic gold medalist Carla McGhee (WNBA Director of Player Personnel); from the NAIA is Martha Gore-Algernon (University of Mobile); NCAA appointees include Sherri Coale (University of Oklahoma), Jim Foster (Ohio State University), Trina Patterson (University at Albany) and Tara VanDerveer (Stanford University); Mary "Roonie" Scovel (Gulf Coast Community College) represents the NJCAA; and Wendy Larry (Old Dominion University) was appointed to the Committee by the WBCA.

Doug Bruno

Bruno's selection as the 2007 USA U19 head coach follows his USA Basketball coaching debut as the 2006 USA Women's U18 National Team head coach. In recognition of his U.S. squad's dominating performance, Bruno was named a 2006 USA Basketball co-Developmental Coach of the Year.

Bruno's 2006 team not only paced the U18 Championship by placing in the top two in 17 statistical team categories, it also made its mark on the USA U18 record book, breaking U.S. team competition records for rebounding average with 66.2 rpg. and blocks with 8.8 bpg.

In the midst of his 21st season (1976-77 through 1977-78, 1988-89 to present) as head coach at DePaul and having coached two seasons (1978-79 through 1979-80) in the Women's Basketball League (WBL), Bruno has compiled a career record of 433-258 (.627 winning percentage, all records as of Feb. 27, 2007) and is 393-228 (.633 winning percentage) coaching collegiate squads.

Bruno and his squad have concluded 2006-07 Big East Conference play with an 18-11 overall record, a 8-8 mark in conference contests and clinched a berth to the Big East Conference Tournament that begins Saturday, March 3.

With the 2007 NCAA Tournament bids still to be determined, Bruno has led the DePaul women to 15 postseason appearances in the past 19 years and four straight NCAA Tournaments since 2003.

The Blue Demons finished the 2005-06 season at 27-7, falling in the NCAA Tournament regional semifinal to Louisiana State University, 66-56.

After capturing the 2004-05 conference championship, Bruno was named the Conference USA Coach of the Year. He also was selected as Conference USA's Coach of the Decade by a vote of the league's 14 head coaches. Additionally, in 2004 and 2005 he was named the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Region 4 Coach of the Year, placing him among seven others on the national coach of the year ballot. Bruno has been honored as the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association's Coach of the Year on seven occasions (1991, 1993, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005).

After finishing with a 15-14 record in 2001-02, he led one of the top turnarounds in the program's history, compiling a 22-10 record in 2002-03 and while making the school's first NCAA appearance since 1997. Advancing to the 2004 and 2005 NCAA second round, he piloted the Blue Demons to the 2006 Sweet Sixteen.

Bruno was selected by his peers at the 2005 Final Four to serve as the 19th President of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). Bruno becomes just the second male coach in the WBCA's history to lead the organization. Prior to his role as president, he was the Male Coaches of Women's Basketball representative on the WBCA board of directors.

Prior to returning to DePaul in 1988, Bruno spent eight seasons as the associate men's head coach at Loyola of Chicago under Gene Sullivan. During his stay, the Ramblers won 138 games and posted 17 or more wins in four campaigns, including a pair of 20-win seasons.

Bruno also spent two seasons as the head coach and director of player personnel for the Chicago Hustle of the WBL. His first team won the 1979 Midwest Division and led the WBL in 11 offensive categories as well as attendance.

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke

A player on seven USA Basketball national teams and now the head women's coach at Prairie View A&M University, Cooper's selection is her first USA Basketball coaching assignment as an assistant for the 2007 USA Women's U19 National Team. A two-time Olympian and two-time World Championship gold medalist, Cooper has played and coached at both the professional and amateur level with incredible success.

"I am looking forward to working with Doug Bruno and Carol Owens," Cooper said. "I have very little experience coaching here in the U.S. on the collegiate level, but I've coached professionally overseas. I will be able to offer my expertise as well as learn from both of them.

"Our ultimate goal is to win gold, but I'd also like the girls to experience international basketball and help set the tone for future competitions. We need to show the world that the U.S. has the top talent and that we will have it for many years to come. In order to do that, we'll have to play great basketball with a lot of passion. That passion is something I experienced during my time with USA Basketball, and I'd like to instill that in this younger generation of athletes."

Currently wrapping up her first season as a collegiate head coach, Cooper was named the Prairie View head mentor in July of 2006, and with two games remaining in her 2006-07 regular season, her Panthers are 12-13 overall and 10-4 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Currently fourth in SWAC standings, Prairie View is assured a berth to the 2007 conference tournament, which will be held March 7-10.

Cooper spent two seasons (2001 and 2002) as head coach of the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury. In 2003, she left the sidelines to rejoin the Houston Comets' roster but appeared in just four games because of injuries. At the age of 40 years, one month and eight days, she became the oldest woman to play in a WNBA game.

Cooper has helped USA Basketball earn no less than six gold medals and one bronze medal as a member of seven USA squads, including gold at the 1988 Olympics, the 1990 World Championship and Goodwill Games, the 1986 World Championship and Goodwill Games, the 1987 Pan Americans Games and a bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics.

Cooper ranks in the top 10 in nine USA Olympic statistical categories, including single game marks of No. 1 in free throw attempts (13 vs. the Soviet Union on Sept, 27, 1988), tied for No. 1 with seven others for 3-pointers made (3 vs. Yugoslavia on Sept. 22, 1988) and tied for No. 1 with Katie Smith for 3-point percentage (3-of-3 vs. Yugoslavia on Sept. 22, 1988); and a single competition ranking of No. 3 in 3-point percentage (.462, 6-of-13 overall in 1988 and 1992). She also holds a No. 1 ranking in the USA Pan American games record book for single competition and career 3-point percentage (.625, 5 3-point FGs in 1987); a No. 1 ranking in the USA Goodwill Games record book for single competition free throw percentage (17-17 FTs in 1990) and is tied with Dawn Staley at No. 1 for the Goodwill Games single game free throw percentage (7-7 FTs vs. Soviet Union on Aug. 1, 1990). Additionally, she ranks as No. 3 in the USA World Championship record book for career field goal percentage (.619, 26-42 FGs in 1990).

Cooper first suited up for the newly formed WNBA's Houton Comets in 1997 and played five seasons (1997 through 2000 and 2003). In each of her first four seasons (1997 through 2000) she led the Comets to a WNBA title, was a unanimous All-WNBA first team selection and was named the WNBA Finals MVP. In addition, in 1997 and 1998 she was named the regular season MVP. A three-time WNBA scoring leader (22.2 ppg. in 1997, 22.7 ppg. in 1998 and 22.1 ppg. in 1999), Cooper was a member of three WNBA All-Star starting lineups (1999, 2000 and 2003).

The first player in WNBA history to reach 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 2,500 points, she was recognized as the 1998 Women's Professional Basketball ESPY award winner and the 1998 Team Sportswoman of the Year by the Women's Sports Foundation. She ranks No. 1 in WNBA playoff scoring average (23.3 ppg.) and No. 5 in all-time WNBA playoff points (443).

The second women in Comets' history to have her jersey (No. 14) retired, she remains Houston's all-time scoring average (21.0 ppg.) and free throw percentage (.871) leader.

Prior to the WNBA, Cooper debuted professionally in Europe, playing 11 years, including seasons in Segovia, Spain (1987); Parma, Italy (1988 through 1994 and 1997); and Alcamo, Italy (1995 and 1996). During her first 10 seasons, she finished as the league's leading scorer eight times and twice as the league's second leading scorer. In addition, Cooper led all scorers in the 1996 European Cup with 37.5 ppg., twice won the EuroLeague 3-point contest (1988 and 1992) and was selected MVP of the 1987 European All-Star game.

During her four seasons (1982-84 and 1986) as a college athlete at the University of Southern California, Cooper helped the Trojans to an overall mark of 114-15 (.884 winning percentage). In addition to participating in four NCAA Tournaments, Cooper helped her squad to capture two NCAA Championships (1983 and 1984) and reach the 1986 title game. She ranks third on the Trojan's all-time steals list (256), fifth in assists (381) and eighth in scoring (1,559 points).

Carol Owens

Owens' 2007 USA Basketball coaching selection follows her first USA Basketball coaching stint as the 2006 USA Women's U18 National Team assistant coach. "It was a very good experience last year," Owens said. "It was my first year doing it. It should be different this time because most of the kids are freshmen in college and have the experience of playing in college. The competition is going to be much better of course. I'm really looking forward to it."

With the 2006-07 regular season schedule complete, Northern Illinois has captured the most wins for its program since 2001-02 when the Huskies finished 17-13. The 2006-07 squad is 17-11 overall and 8-8 in Mid-American Conference (MAC) play. All 12 teams in the MAC will compete in the conference tournament, which will be held on March 4, 6, 9 and 10.

In 2005-06, her first season as head coach at Northern Illinois, Owens led her squad to an 12-17 overall record and 7-9 for league play, improvements on the previous year's 7-21 and 4-12 records.

Prior to arriving at NIU, Owens spent 10 seasons (1995-96 through 2004-05) as an assistant at the University of Notre Dame. As an assistant for the Fighting Irish under head coach Muffet McGraw, Owens helped coach five players who went on to gain USA Basketball experience, including 2004 Olympic gold medalist Ruth Riley. Owens helped Notre Dame reach 10 NCAA Tournaments, six Sweet Sixteens, two Final Fours and the program's first national championship in 2001. During her tenure, Notre Dame compiled a record of 252-75 (.771 winning percentage).

While in a USA Basketball jersey, Owens co-captained the North squad that captured the silver medal at the 1986 U. S. Olympic Festival and was a 1989 USA Basketball Women's National Team Trials participant. She played professional basketball overseas from 1990 through 1993 in Japan, Spain, and Italy.

As a player at Northern Illinois, Owens was a member of the team that gained the school's first NCAA Tournament berth in 1990. The first male or female in school history to reach the 2,000 career point/1,000 career rebound mark, Owens was MVP of a team that won the North Star Conference (NSC) regular season championship and advanced to the 1990 NCAA Tournament second round.

Owens was a two-time Kodak District Four All-American (1989 and 1990), a United States Basketball Writers Association District Four All-American (1990), the North Star Player of the Year (1990), a three-year All-NSC first team pick (1988-90) and a three-time Huskie captain.

She graduated with 13 school records including: career points (2,102), field goals made (818), field goal percentage (.537), free throws made (466), free throw attempts (662) and blocked shots (244); single season free throw attempts (222) and steals (86); and single-game points (41), field goals made (16), field goal percentage (.917), steals (11) and blocked shots (7).

Owens was enshrined into the Northern Illinois University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2001.

2006 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women The 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women will feature 16 national teams that qualified through their FIBA zone tournaments, including Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Ivory Coast, Japan, Lithuania, Mali, Slovakia, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the USA.

Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, the tournament was held every four years beginning in 1985. USA women's teams are 32-10 in the U19/Junior World Championships, most recently capturing gold with an 8-0 record in 2005.

Former USA U19/Junior World Championship participants of note include: Angela Aycock (1993); Alana Beard (2001); Essence Carson (2005); Tamika Catchings (1997); Monique Currie (2001); Crystal Langhorne (2005); Erlana Larkins (2005); Lisa Leslie (1989); Rebecca Lobo (1993); Vickie Orr (1985); Courtney Paris (2005); Cappie Pondexter (2001); Katie Smith (1993); Dawn Staley (1989); Ann Strother (2001); Diana Taurasi (2001); Abby Waner (2005); Candice Wiggins (2005).

2007 USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team Coaching Staff Head Coach: Doug Bruno, DePaul University (Ill.) Assistant Coach: Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, Prairie A&M University (Texas) Assistant Coach: Carol Owens, Northern Illinois University

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