COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- All three assistant coaches from the 2006 USA Women's World Championship Team will remain on the sideline for the U.S. senior women's national team through the 2008 Olympics, USA Basketball announced Wednesday.
That means Mike Thibault, head coach of the WNBA's Connecticut Sun, and college head coaches Gail Goestenkors of Duke and Temple's Dawn Staley will continue to serve as assistants to U.S. coach Anne Donovan, who also is head coach of the WNBA's Seattle Storm.
The U.S. women, of course, still must qualify for the Beijing Games as the squad looks to defend its streak of three Olympic gold medals.
Team USA's next chance to qualify will be at the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, Sept. 25-29, in Valdivia, Chile. The gold medalist at that tournament will earn a berth to the Beijing Olympics' 12-nation field. In addition to the United States, teams participating in the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship will be Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Jamaica and Mexico.
Should the United States not return home from Chile with the gold medal, there will be one final chance to qualify for the Olympics at the 2008 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which is slated for June 9-15 at a site to be determined.