April 23, 2009
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois University head women's basketball coach Carol Owens, who led Team USA to gold at the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championships, has been selected to serve as head coach of the 2009 USA Basketball Women's U19 Championship Team, USA Basketball announced today. The team will compete at the FIBA World Championships, which will be held July 23-August 3 in Bangkok, Thailand.
"Carol's selection by USA Basketball confirms what we have known about Carol for a long time: that she is one of the most respected and well regarded women's coaches in the country," Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Jeff Compher said. "This is certainly great for her, tremendous for USA Basketball, and extremely exciting for Northern Illinois University."
The 2008 USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year, Owens returns to USA Basketball for her fourth straight year. Last season, her first as head coach, she guided the Red, White and Blue to a perfect 5-0 mark en route to capturing gold after beating host Argentina, 81-37, at the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championships.
"I'm really excited," said Owens. "The competition is good and it'll be a tough road for us, but I'm looking forward to this challenge. I know we're going to have a very good team and be ready to compete. All in all, I'm honored to be coaching the U19 team."
Owens was an assistant with USA Basketball under head coach Doug Bruno in 2006 and 2007. She helped lead the 2006 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team to a perfect 4-0 record and the gold medal at the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and a 9-0 mark, and the gold, in the 2007 U19 Championship for Women.
"I always think the USA's chance of winning gold is good," Owens said. "Obviously most of the group that played last year will be trying out. I have faith in our committee that they'll assemble a great group that will be competitive, that will compete at a high level against some very good teams at the U19 World Championship."
Owens, a 1990 graduate of Northern Illinois, just completed her fourth season leading the Huskie women's basketball program and has compiled a 56-62 mark in that time. In 2008-09, the Huskies posted a 10-6 record in Mid-American Conference play, their best conference record since 2001-02. Under Owens, the Huskies turned in their best season in five years, posting 19 wins in 2006-07 and saw the first NIU women's basketball player, Stephanie Raymond
, drafted by the WNBA.
In 2008, Owens was named to the board of directors of both the Black Coaches Association and Women's Basketball Coaches Association.