Sep 5, 2013, 1:50 PM EDT
Geno Auriemma is signing up for another Olympic run.
The UConn coach will be the first ever to repeat as coach of the U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team in 2016, according to The Associated Press.
USA Basketball will have a news conference Friday, according to the AP.
Since the end of the Olympics, Auriemma has denied interest in coaching in Rio and repeatedly said he would not return if asked. The 59-year-old Hall of Famer compared the experience to eating a bowl of his favorite mint chocolate chip ice cream.
“The second bowl doesn’t taste as good as the first one,” he said. “It never has and it never will.”
Auriemma led the Americans to their fifth straight Olympic gold in 2012. They went 8-0 with an average margin of victory of 34 points, winning every game by at least 13 points and defeating France 86-50 in the final. The U.S. hasn’t lost a game in the Olympics since the semifinals in 1992, when it was upended by the Unified Team.
Auriemma joins Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, who is returning to coach the defending champion men’s team in Rio de Janeiro. Past U.S. women’s Olympic coaches included Pat Summitt (1984), Kay Yow (1988), Theresa Grentz (1992), Tara VanDerveer (1996), Nell Fortner (2000), Van Chancellor (2004) and Anne Donovan (2008).
Auriemma also coached the U.S. women to gold at the 2010 World Championships. In April, he led UConn to its eighth national title, all under Auriemma since 1995. That matched him with longtime rival and former Tennessee coach Summitt.
Up next for the U.S. are the 2014 World Championships in Turkey, where a title would qualify it for the Rio Games. The Americans have won five of seven world titles starting with 1986.
The U.S. should be a heavy favorite in Turkey and in Rio with the likes of UConn players past and present including Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Maya Moore and Breanna Stewart potentially on the team. There’s also Candace Parker, Seimone Augustus and Tamika Catchings.
The fight for roster spots will be fierce given newcomers such as WNBA rookies Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins and Elena Delle Donne joining the fray.
- A recent history of U.S. Olympic gymnastics comebacks 0
- Meryl Davis, Charlie White won’t compete next season 1
- Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman competitive with U.S. teammates in comeback 0
- Javier Fernandez wins upset World Championship; top American fourth 0
- Elizaveta Tuktamysheva wins World Championship; U.S. just misses medals 0
- How to watch Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman’s comeback gymnastics meet 0
- Yuzuru Hanyu tops World Championships short program; Jason Brown leads Americans 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)