After coaching the 2018 USA Women’s U18 National Team to a gold medal and a berth in the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup, head coach Jeff Walz (Louisville) and assistant coaches Natasha Adair (Delaware) and Cori Close (UCLA) will return to guide the 2019 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Cup Team.
The USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee, chaired by George Washington University head coach Jennifer Rizzotti, is responsible for selecting the U.S. coaching staff, which is approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
”Jeff Walz, Natasha Adair and Cori Close did an excellent job last summer in leading the USA U18 National Team to a gold medal,” said Rizzotti. “We appreciate their commitment and the way in which they positively represented USA Basketball. The committee feels keeping the staff together and building on the continuity they gained working as a team in 2018 will give us the best opportunity at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Bangkok.”
Trials to select the 12-member team will be held May 16-20 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Training camp will follow July 5-19, with the U19 World Cup competition taking place July 20-28 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Players eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens, born on or after Jan. 1, 2000.
This is Walz’s sixth coaching assignment with USA Basketball. Prior to the 2018 USA U18 National Team, Walz led the 2017 USA Basketball U23 National Team to a 3-0 record and a tournament title at the Four Nations U24 Tournament in Tokyo. He also helped USA Basketball to gold medals as an assistant coach for the 2014 USA U18 and 2015 USA U19 national teams and served as a court coach at the 2017 USA National Team training camp.
”It has been an absolute privilege to work with USA Basketball the past four summers, and I am extremely excited to get the opportunity to do so again,” Walz said. “I had an amazing experience last summer in Mexico City as the head coach of the U18 team, and I look forward to working with this group again. Working with USA Basketball is something that I have always dreamed of doing, and I look forward to leading the U19 team. USA Basketball possesses impeccable standards and a winning tradition, and it is an honor to once again be entrusted with such an important role.”
Walz recently completed his 12th season (2007-08 to present) as University of Louisville head coach. The 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year and 2019 Naismith Coach of the Year candidate holds a 331-100 (.768) career record as a head coach.
In 2018-19, the Cardinals finished 32-4 overall after advancing to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. Finishing 14-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, the Cardinals also captured their second consecutive ACC regular season title.
In 2017-18, he led the Cardinals to a 36-3 record, the ACC regular season and tournament titles and the NCAA Tournament Final Four.
Under Walz, Louisville has made it to the NCAA Sweet 16 nine times, the Final Four three times and to two national title games. He has coached four All-Americans, including two-time Olympic and two-time World Cup gold medalist Angel McCoughtry and Asia Durr, the second overall pick in this year’s WNBA Draft. Prior to Louisville he spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach with Western Kentucky, Nebraska, Minnesota and Maryland.
FIBA U19 World Cup for Women
Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, the tournament was held every four years starting in 1985. FIBA changed its calendar in 2005 and now conducts the U19 World Cup every other year.
USA women’s teams are 79-13 in U19/Junior World Cups, capturing a sixth-consecutive gold in 2015 with a 7-0 record. In 2017, USA Basketball fell four points short against Russia in the gold medal game in an attempt to capture a seventh-straight gold medal.