December 8, 2021
Cheryl Reeve named head coach of U.S. women’s team through 2024 Olympics
'I am here to be a part of one of the greatest dynasties ever'
Cheryl Reeve, Minnesota Lynx head coach and general manager, is no stranger to multitasking.
“You know, people plan weddings while they’re playing sports,” Reeve said in a Zoom presser with media Wednesday. “So you can do more than one thing. Which I did, by the way, in our 2011 championship season. I was planning my wedding throughout. We got married a week later.”
A fixture on the USA Basketball sidelines for years as an assistant coach and one of the most respected voices in her sport, Reeve was named the new head coach of the U.S. women’s senior national team on Wednesday.
“I am here to be a part of one of the greatest dynasties ever,” Reeve said at her introductory press conference. “To represent your country at the highest level of sport, I am humbled and grateful. The sacrifice that someone makes to win a gold medal is a great honor. I want to go in and be myself and get a collection of players who will be selfless for the good of the team.”
The 55-year-old Reeve will guide the team through the 2024 Paris Olympics. The first event she will coach will be the World Cup qualifiers at Washington, D.C., Feb. 10-13, where the U.S. will face Puerto Rico, Belgium and Russia. By virtue of winning the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, the U.S. has automatically qualified to the World Cup, which will be in Sydney in September.
“The first task was to find a new head coach for the next three years,” said recently appointed women’s team director Briana Weiss. “I could not be more thrilled to share a stage with Cheryl Reeve.”
USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley called the decision to hire Reeve a “no-brainer” and complimented Reeve’s hunger and desire to win.
Reeve joined USA Basketball in 2014 as an assistant to Geno Auriemma on the team that would win the World Cup in Turkey. Auriemma also won the gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics with Reeve as an assistant before Dawn Staley took over the team and led it to wins at the 2018 World Cup and this past summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
“Everything that happened in Tokyo was Dawn’s role,” Reeve said. “Afterwards, I made it clear that I thought she should remain the coach. Dawn is a tremendous mentor, and she will be a great resource.”
The New Jersey-born Reeve played collegiately for La Salle in the 1980s. She was the head coach at Indiana State in the 1990s before being a WNBA assistant in Charlotte, Cleveland and Detroit, where she won two championships. She took over the Lynx in 2010 and is responsible for winning four WNBA titles.
“I can’t say enough about my Lynx family,” Reeve continued. “It’s not lost on me that I am sitting here because of some really great players we had. I know there will be some new faces [on the U.S. team], but I am working on Syl [Sylvia Fowles] to see if there will be an old face, but there is no luck so far. We’ve had high expectations in Minnesota for a long time, and I will make sure we meet those expectations [with the national team].”
Howard Megdal contributed reporting to this piece.
Written by Scott Mammoser
Scott Mammoser started out covering the Niagara University women's basketball team in 2002. He went on to cover FIBA World Cups in Turkey and Spain, Under-19 World Cups in Thailand and Spain, the Asia Cup in China, as well as major international events for World Athletics and the International Skating Union. He has been to six Olympics and traveled to more than 80 countries.