Sooner women's basketball coach Sherri Coale will lead Team USA at the 2013 Women's World University Games this summer in Kazan, Russia, USA Basketball announced Tuesday.
It is Coale's first head coaching assignment with USA Basketball. Coale served as an assistant for the 2001 bronze-medal winning Junior World Championship Team and as a USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee member from 2005 to 2008.
"It was an absolute honor to serve USA Basketball as both an assistant coach and a selection committee member," Coale said. "Representing our country via this sport that I love is the ultimate opportunity--an opportunity that I don't take lightly and one that I am humbled to accept."
Coale will be assisted by Brian Giorgis, head coach of Marist College, and Coquese Washington, head coach at Penn State. The staff was selected by the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
"In addition to the experience of coaching some of our country's finest collegiate athletes," Coale added. "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside of Brian and Coquese. I have great respect for each of these coaches, not only for the programs they have built on their respective campuses, but also for their ambassadorship of our game. I look forward to learning from them and working with them to make this an amazing experience for the student athletes we will lead into international competition."
Organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) and held every other year, the World University Games is a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24 (born Jan. 1, 1989 through Dec. 31, 1995). USA Basketball considers athletes with remaining collegiate eligibility only. The 2013 World University Games will be played July 8-15.
Including the USA and host Russia a total of 16 nations will compete in the 2013 World University Games women's basketball competition, which also will feature teams from Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Mongolia, Poland, Sweden, Taiwan and Ukraine.
"Obviously all three coaches have been successful," Jim Foster, Ohio State head coach and chair of the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee, said. "Sherri has had international experience, and Coquese has had the opportunity to serve on a committee for USA Basketball. It's a staff where their strengths complement each other."
USA Basketball women's teams have participated in 16 prior World University Games and collected a record eight gold medals, six silvers and one bronze medal. Further, since 1973, the first year the USA women competed in the WUGs, the United States has compiled a 95-15 record.
Team USA posted a 6-0 record en route to a gold medal in the 2011 World University Games.
Trials to select the 12-member team will take place May 16-19 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo., and approximately 35 players will be invited by the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee. A final training camp will resume at the USOTC June 25.
Chaired by Foster, the 2013-16 USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee includes NCAA appointees Vanderbilt head coach Melanie Balcomb, California head coach Lindsay Gottlieb and Central Florida head coach Joi Williams, as well as athlete representative Kara Lawson, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist who has been a part of nine USA Basketball teams.