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Friday December 21, 2012

Krzyzewski and Auriemma share Coach of the Year award

COLORADO SPRINGS: Mike Krzyze­wski and Geno Auriemma, who guided their squads to gold medals at the London Olympics, were named co-winners on Wednesday of the USA Basketball Coach of the Year award.

Krzyzewski, whose Duke University men’s team is unbeaten and the top-ranked team among American colleges this season, guided the US squad of NBA stars to gold for the second Olympics in a row at London.

Auriemma, whose University of Connecticut squad is second in the US college coaches’ rankings, guide the American team of Women’s NBA stars to an unprecedented fifth Olympic gold medal in a row.

“Our two coaches built outstanding teams for USA Basketball that our country was proud to cheer on in London,” USA Basketball executive director Jim Tooley said.

“From the start of their involvement with our national team programmes, ‘Coach K’ and Geno have exemplified the qualities they stressed to our players, including commitment, selfless service and excellence.”

Krzyzewski also won the award from USA Basketball’s board of directors in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010.

“To have an opportunity to keep winning them means you had great teams that accomplished,” Krzyzewski said.

“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.”

Auriemma also shared the award with Krzyzewski in 2010.

“To coach the Olympic team is an amazing opportunity that you are very fortunate to have,” Auriemma said. “They were just unbelievably committed to winning and I don’t know if I’ll ever be around a group like that ever again.” — AFP

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