Suns News

USA Basketball Names Jerry Colangelo USA Men’s Sr. Team Managing Director

Suns Chairman and USAB Senior Men's managing director Jerry Colangelo has been entrusted to lead the program back to the top of international competition.
(Jeramie McPeek/Suns.com)
Posted: April 27, 2005

The USA Basketball Executive Committee has named Phoenix Suns Chairman and CEO Jerry Colangelo to the newly-created position of Managing Director of the USA Basketball Senior Men's National Team program for the 2005-2008 quadrennium, USA Basketball President Val Ackerman announced today at a press conference in Phoenix, Ariz.

Colangelo will assume responsibility for the selection of the USA senior men's team coaching staffs and players through 2008 and will oversee the teams' competitive preparations, including training and exhibition games.

During the 2005-2008 quadrennium, USA Basketball men's senior national teams are expected to compete in the 2006 FIBA World Championship (Aug. 19-Sept. 3 in Saitama, Japan), if necessary the 2007 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament (dates and site TBD), and if the USA qualifies the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China (Aug. 8-24).

"I take on this responsibility with a great deal of commitment and passion. My intent is to restore USA Basketball's role in international basketball and the status we once enjoyed," said Colangelo. "With the increased international competition that exists, this will be a major challenge for us as we prepare for 2008 and the Olympics."

"The strength of the competition in international basketball has escalated dramatically since the Dream Team debuted in 1992, and it has become apparent that a new management approach is needed in order for the U.S. to compete successfully at the highest level," said Ackerman. "We can think of no one more qualified than Jerry Colangelo to lead the effort and to restore the U.S. senior men's national team program to a position of global pre-eminence."

Since first fielding a USA Basketball team of legendary NBA stars in 1992, USA Basketball Senior National Teams comprised of NBA players claimed gold medals in eight of the 10 major international basketball competitions they have competed in, while compiling an impressive 74-6 overall record (.925 winning percentage) in those international competitions and posting a record of 23-1 (.958 winning percentage) in exhibition games.

Jerry Colangelo
Currently the Chairman and CEO of the Phoenix Suns, Colangelo has been the face of the Suns franchise since their inaugural season in 1968. His roles with the team have included general manager, head coach, president and his current role, and over the course of his 37-year tenure-- second longest in the NBA, behind only Boston's Red Auerbach -- he has molded the Suns into one of the most successful organizations -- on and off the court -- in the NBA. His outstanding contributions to the game were recognized with his enshrinement into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.

Currently the Chairman of the NBA's Board of Governors, Colangelo has also been a member of the NBA's Finance Committee, Long Range Planning Committee, Expansion Committee and Competition and Rules Committee. Commissioner David Stern turned to Colangelo to chair a special group in the 2000-01 season that evaluated the state of the game and made rules modifications.

Phoenix owns the NBA's fourth-best all-time regular season winning percentage with a 1644-1358 record and.548 winning percentage, trailing only the Los Angeles Lakers (.616 / 2761-1722), Boston (.596 / 2737-1856), and San Antonio (.585 / 1372-974). Colangelo has collected an unprecedented four NBA Executive of the Year awards (1993, 1989, 1981 and 1976). During that period the Suns enjoyed seven consecutive 50-plus win seasons from 1988 to 1995, including a then franchise-best 62 wins in 1992-93 and a trip to the 1993 NBA Finals. On two occasions Colangelo stepped in to coach the Suns, including the 1969-70 season when he guided the club to a 24-20 mark down the stretch and to its first playoff appearance. He also coached in 1972-73 and compiled a 35-40 mark. Overall, Colangelo is 59-60 as an NBA coach.

Colangelo's involvement with the NBA included a position on the founding operating committee for the WNBA, where he helped successfully advance women's professional basketball in the U.S. The Phoenix Mercury were one of the WNBA's inaugural teams in 1997, setting a league attendance record in their first season. They advanced to the 1998 WNBA Finals and qualified for the playoffs three times.

He also led the charge for the building of a new arena for the Suns. The 18,422-seat America West Arena opened in June 1992 and became the first venue in the NBA to also house a full-size practice facility, an amenity now common in the league. The arena has played host to a wide variety of events, including the 1995 NBA All-Star Game and the 2000 WNBA All-Star Game.

Colangelo was also responsible for bringing the MLB Arizona Diamondbacks to Phoenix in 1998 and in facilitating the move of the NHL Winnipeg Jets to the Valley of the Sun in 1996, where they became the Phoenix Coyotes.

Colangelo was named by the Arizona Republic as the Most Influential Sports figure in the state of Arizona for the 20th Century and by the Phoenix Business Journal as the top business person in the Valley for the past five years. He has been included in The Sporting News' list of the most powerful people in sports for more than a decade.

USA Basketball
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a non-profit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the United States by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions.

USA Basketball is governed by a 10-member Executive Committee and 25-member Board of Directors, who are appointed and elected by active members. Ackerman serves as President of USA Basketball for the 2005-2008 term.

Serving since January 2001 as USA Basketball's Executive Director is Jim Tooley. Tooley, who has been with USA Basketball since 1993, is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization's day-to-day operations and business operations.

USA Basketball is an organization made up of associations. Current USA Basketball active members include the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU); Continental Basketball Association (CBA); National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC); National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); National Basketball Association (NBA); National Basketball Development League (NBDL); National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA); National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS); National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA); National Pro-Am City League Association (NPACLA); National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA); United States Armed Forces; USA Deaf Sports Federation (USADSF); Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA); and the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). These 15 member organizations have representation on USA Basketball's Board of Directors and various committees, and ultimately determine how USA Basketball operates.

During the 2001-2004 quadrennium, over 950 men and women participated in USA Basketball events, including the now annual USA Basketball men's and women's Youth Development Festivals, USA Basketball Trials, and USA Basketball teams. Competing in 20 major international events between 2001-2004, the USA won medals an astounding 17 times, including gold or top finishes 12 times, silver once and bronze medals four times. Overall, USA teams between 2001-04 compiled a 163-22 win-loss record (.881 winning percentage).

The competitions in which USA teams regularly compete include the Olympics, World Championships, Pan American Games, World University Games, World Championship for Young Men/Women, Junior World Championships, Hoop Summit and Youth Development Festivals.

USA Basketball also sanctions U.S. basketball team tours of foreign countries and foreign basketball team tours of the U.S., as well as oversees the certification of FIBA and USA Basketball officials and the assignment of those officials to international competitions.