We have heard – and reported – Geno Auriemma’s initial comments about returning to the helm of USA Basketball to direct the 2014 World Championship and 2016 Olympic teams.
Geno basically said that it wasn’t something he was seriously considering and that concentrating on what should be a compelling quadrennial in Storrs [with Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson around] was a bigger priority to him, especially at this stage of his career.
It’s also fair to say that not all aspects of coaching the Olympic team pleased Auriemma. Let’s just put it this way: People change as they grow older and professional athletes usually have little in common with collegiate athletes when it comes to respect and attentiveness.
That being said, USA Basketball hasn’t named a new coach yet and its clear they would love Auriemma to return, especially now that Baylor’s Kim Mulkey may be facing an NCAA investigation, Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw doesn’t want it and Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve lost her cool in the WNBA finals.
Where does USA Basketball turn? Well, what about DePaul’s Doug Bruno, as loyal and productive a soldier as the game as ever had.
Bruno coached gold medal winning U18 and u19 teams when Maya Moore and Tina Charles were kids. And he was Geno’s top assistant and confidant at the 2010 World Championship and Olympics.
I asked Bruno Wednesday if he was interested in the job. And what he said was very interesting.
“My first interest is Geno returning,” Bruno said. “I really would like that. I personally believe he should be the next Olympic coach, if he wants it.
“If he doesn’t want it, and I want to make sure I am clear about this: As long as Coach Auriemma is in the running for that job or even feels like he may want it again, I would have no interest in it. To me, that [the Olympics] is Geno’s job to turn down, officially and unequivocally.
“That’s how I look at it. I don’t even think about it because it’s his if he wants it. I believe he should do it. I believe he’s the man for the job in 2016.”
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