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UCLA's Cori Close named co-recipient of USA Basketball’s Developmental Coach of the Year award

Dec 14, 2021
Cori Close (photo courtesy of FIBA)

Colorado Springs, Colo. – The Michael Price Family UCLA Women's Head Basketball Coach Cori Close has been named a co-recipient of USA Basketball's Developmental Coach of the Year Award, the organization announced Tuesday morning. TCU Men's Basketball Head Coach Jamie Dixon also earned the award.
"The leadership of Cori and Jamie this past summer helped USA Basketball win gold medals in two of FIBA's most competitive tournaments, and USA Basketball is grateful for their investment in our U19 national teams," said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO. "The 2021 USA Men's and Women's U19 Teams each featured the tournament MVP and an all-tournament selection, and they played outstanding basketball."
Close earned the accolade for guiding the USA Women's U19 Team to a FIBA World Cup victory this past summer in Debrecen, Hungary. The Americans went 7-0 in the tournament and defeated their opponents by an average of 47.0 points. Team USA defeated Australia in the championship game to earn its second-straight world title. Close also served as an assistant coach on the 2019 coaching staff.
"I think the biggest honor is just to be included in USA Basketball," Close said. "To be honored as the Developmental Coach of the Year, it's something that I immediately would say thank you to Greg Callan, who managed our trip, Joni Taylor and Aaron Johnston (assistant coaches). That's something that no individual does, so I'm incredibly honored, but I really just say thank you to the people that surrounded our group, that said, 'Hey, gold medal habits were the most important thing. USA across the front of our chests is the most important thing.' It almost makes me uncomfortable to have an individual name associated with the award, because that's not how USA Basketball is built, but I still consider it a great honor and I'm so thrilled to be a part of it."
About the Award
USA Basketball has awarded its Developmental Coach of the Year award since 1996 to a USA Basketball head coach who during the year of the award made a significant impact on the performance of an athlete or team on a level other than the senior national level in a manner consistent with the highest ethical, professional and moral standards.