Florida head coach Billy Donovan has been named a co-recipient of the 2013 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year after leading the USA men to a 9-0 record and a gold medal at last summer’s 2013 FIBA U19 World Championships. Donovan is being honored along with Katie Meier of the University of Miami, who led the USA U19 women to the same outcome.
"This was such a special event, and I’m very thankful to USA Basketball for the opportunity to coach this team and appreciative of this honor," Donovan said. "I thought the people in the Czech Republic did a great job hosting the World Championship. Prague was a great city … I thought the USA did a really great job of fielding a good team and providing a lot of options to put together a great team."
The USA Basketball Board of Directors is responsible for selecting USA Basketball’s annual awards.
"Billy and Katie provided tremendous leadership for our U19 teams, and the results they achieved in a competition that is so challenging were impressive," said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO/Executive Director. "Not only did the U.S. teams win, but they played with passion and demonstrated great sportsmanship, and that is a credit to these two respected coaches."
The National Coach of the Year award was established in 1996 to recognize a USA Basketball head coach who, during the year of the award, made significant impact on the success of individual athlete and team performance at the highest level of competition.
Previous winners include: Geno Auriemma (2010, 2012), Jim Boeheim (2001), Larry Brown (1999, 2003), Van Chancellor (2002, 2004), Jamie Dixon (2009), Anne Donovan (2007, 2008), Nell Fortner (2000), Gail Goestenkors (2005), Clem Haskins (1998), Mike Krzyzewski (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012), Mo McHone (1997), Jennifer Rizzotti (2011) and Tara VanDerveer (1996).
Under Donovan’s leadership, the USA won just its third title in the past eight FIBA U19 World Championships, beating its opponents by an average margin of 39.6 points per game.
"Being able to play for Coach Donovan and seeing his level of intensity gave me better insight into what Division I basketball would be like," said University of Arizona freshman Aaron Gordon, who was named MVP of the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship.
The USA’s slimmest margin of victory during the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, which was played June 27-July 7, was a nine-point (71-62) win against Serbia on July 3. In a rematch with Serbia in the gold-medal game, the USA dominated the second half to earn an 82-68 win.
Among the 16-team field, the USA led the tournament in 12 different categories, including scoring (95.9 ppg.), scoring defense (56.3 ppg.), scoring margin (+39.6), field goal percentage (.518), field goal percentage defense (.353), rebounds averaged (48.8), rebound defense (29.2), rebounding margin (+19.6), steals (122) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2).
The U.S. team also produced tournament single-game highs for points (115) and field goals made (46) versus Russia on June 29; field goal percentage (.595) against Lithuania on July 3; and steals (23) and turnovers forced (32) versus China on June 28.
The 2013 squad set five U.S. men’s U19 competition records in an event that dates back to 1979. This past summer’s team set highs for points (863), rebounds (439), field goals made (355), field goals attempted (685) and rebounds averaged (48.8).
In 2012, Donovan led the U.S. men to a 5-0 record and the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, which qualified the USA for the 2013 U19 FIBA World Championship.