Spurs head coach Popovich to take charge of USA men's national team
USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo made an official announcement today that veteran San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich will be handed the reigns as head coach of the USA men’s national basketball team for the quadrennium 2017-2020.
Popovich, or “Pop”, as he’s known, will take over from Mike Krzyzewski after the 2016 Rio Olympics. Krzyzewski, nicknamed “Coach K”, mentored the US national team to two Olympic gold medals and two FIBA World Championships. He was also an assistant coach for the American “Dream Team” that won gold in the 1992 Olympics.
According to nba.com, Popovich said, “I’m extremely humbled and honored to have the opportunity to represent our country as the coach of the USA National Team. What the program has accomplished over the last decade under the leadership of Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski is truly impressive. I will do my utmost to maintain the high standards of success, class and character established by Jerry, Coach K and the many players who have sacrificed their time on behalf of USA Basketball.”
Popovich has been the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs since 1996 and has led them to five NBA Championships. He is one of only five to achieve this distinction. He is also one of nine coaches in NBA history to have won 1000 games.
Dating back to 2006, the USA men’s national team has compiled a sixty-three game unbeaten streak including forty-five consecutive victories in FIBA and FIBA Americas Championships. Their back-to-back gold medals at the Olympics (2008 & 2012) and FIBA World Championships (2010 & 2014) are a first for the team.
Jerry Colangelo, who has served as Managing Director of USA Basketball Men’s National Team program since 2005, had the following to say on Popovich’s appointment, “I’m absolutely delighted to announce Gregg Popovich as head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team for 2017-20. There is no doubt in my mind that we have the great fortune of bringing on board one of the NBA’s best and most successful coaches ever to lead the USA National Team for the 2017-20 quadrennium. By making this decision now, it will allow us to have a clean, efficient and immediate transition following the 2016 Olympic Games.”
In his capacity as head coach, Popovich will oversee all the team’s national trainiing camps, the coaching of the team for the 2019 FIBA World Championships and the 2020 Japan Olympics.