Legendary Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma has agreed to coach the U.S. women's basketball team in the 2016 Olympics, the Associated Press is reporting. The news is expected to be made official at a press conference Friday.
Auriemma coached Team USA to a gold at the London 2012 Games. This undertaking means he would become the first women's coach to serve as coach in back-to-back Olympics. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski said in May he would coach Team USA for the men for a third straight time.
The 2016 Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro.
"Since the end of the Olympics, Auriemma has denied interest in coaching in Rio and repeatedly said he would not return if asked," via the AP's report. "The 59-year-old Hall of Famer compared the experience to eating a bowl of his favorite mint chocolate chip ice cream. 'The second bowl doesn't taste as good as the first one,' he said. 'It never has and it never will.'"
Auriemma is also on record previously as stating how much time Olympic duty took away from his job as UConn coach. Auriemma has won eight national championships at UConn -- a record he shares with Tennessee legend Pat Summitt -- most recently winning it all this past spring. Summitt in fact is listed on the committee that approves the women's coach for Team USA.
Next on the docket for the American women in basketball is the 2014 World Championships next fall in Turkey. Winning a game there -- a virtual lock -- would put it into the 2016 Games. Per the AP, WNBA stars Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird and Tamika Catchings all have said they plan to participate in the 2016 Games if they're healthy. Auriemma coached Taurasi and Bird at Connecticut.