USA Basketball named Geno Auriemma (Connecticut) and Mike Krzyzewski (Duke) as co-recipients of the 2012 National Coach of the Year award Wednesday.
Each led the USA to a gold medal in the London Olympic Games and undefeated exhibition records in 2012.
“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,” Auriemma said in a statement. “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.
It was an unprecedented fifth award for Krzyzewski, who earlier received or shared the honor in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010.
“Well, first of all, (this award means) continuity,” Krzyzewski said in a statement. “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.”