Pitt’s Suzie McConnell-Serio has added another prestigious honor to her already impressive resume on Tuesday, as USA Basketball named her the head coach of the country’s U18 National Team ahead of the 2016 FIBA Americas Championship in Chile this July.
“It’s such an incredible honor to be named the head coach for USA Basketball,” McConnell-Serio said in a press release. “I was shocked to be asked and also thankful that the committee selected me.”
McConnell-Serio just finished her third season at Pitt, with a 2015 NCAA Tournament appearance highlighting her tenure.
McConnell-Serio has coached at Oakland Catholic High School, the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA and Duquesne University. Selection committee chair Jim Foster says that her breadth of experience was an important factor in her selection, as the team will consist of players 18 years old and under.
“With the age group and level of this competition, we felt it was imperative to get a strong teaching staff,” Foster said. “Suzie McConnell-Serio is probably one of the most qualified coaches with a unique resume of high school, AAU, professional, mid-major and major conference coaching.”
In the release, McConnell-Serio said she was surprised by the opportunity. She has already represented the United States before as both a player and an assistant coach.
“You never imagine something like this happening, and when you’re asked to do it there is no hesitation because to represent your country and wear USA on your chest, there is no greater sense of pride. I am so excited to have this opportunity.”