USA Basketball has announced that Geno Auriemma and Mike Krzyzewski are co-recipients of the 2012 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award after both led USA to gold medals in the London Olympic Games
“The opportunity to coach the Olympic Team is an amazing opportunity that you are very fortunate to have and all you want to do is a great job while putting the players in a position to be successful,” said Auriemma, 2012 U.S. Olympic/Women’s National Team head coach. “I thought our entire coaching staff, Doug Bruno, Marynell Meadors, Jen Gillom and everyone associated with our team from Carol Callan on down, were outstanding. We got all the resources and support that we needed, and I think I owe a debt of gratitude to all of them, along with Jim Tooley and Jerry Colangelo for what they do.
“So, I don’t know that it was me as much as the support group we had around us and the great group of athletes I had the opportunity to coach. They were just unbelievably committed to winning, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be around a group like that ever again.”
This is the second USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award for Auriemma, who also shared the honor with Krzyzewski in 2010, and an unprecedented fifth award for Krzyzewski, who earned or shared the honor in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010.
“Well first of all, (this award means) continuity,” Krzyzewski said. “In other words, in order to have an opportunity to keep winning them means you had great teams that accomplished. For any coaching award, it’s what the players have done. It’s LeBron James, and Kobe (Bryant), and Kevin Durant and all of those guys coming through. I’ve been a lucky guy to be a part of it for seven years, and in five of the years there was some kind of competition.”
The U.S. women’s gold medal was an unprecedented fifth-straight Olympic gold, a feat never before accomplished in any women’s traditional team sport, while under Krzyzewski’s hand the USA men captured a second-consecutive Olympic gold.