Lynx Hire Suzie McConnell Serio as Head Coach

McConnell Serio played three seasons with the Cleveland Rockers.
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McConnell Serio career notes
Jan. 21, 2003 The Lynx today announced the hiring of former WNBA player and gold medal Olympian Suzie McConnell Serio as the franchise's new coach. McConnell Serio agreed to a multi-year contract with the team. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

McConnell Serio, 36, has served as head coach of Oakland Catholic High School (Pittsburgh, Pa.) for 13 years. She has posted an all-time record of 305-67 (.820), with her team averaging nearly 25 wins per season. During her tenure, Oakland Catholic has won two state championships (2001 and 1993) and has been runner-up on two occasions (2002 and 2000). The school has won four consecutive district championships (1999-2002). She will complete the 2002-03 season at Oakland Catholic before joining the Lynx.

"We're extremely excited about having Suzie join our organization," said Lynx chief operating officer Roger Griffith. "She has been extremely successful at every level of her basketball career, as both a player and a coach. We believe Suzie will make an immediate impact on the success of our team."

The former WNBA point guard played three seasons in the league with the Cleveland Rockers (1998-2000), who drafted McConnell Serio in the second round (16th overall) in the 1998 WNBA Draft. As a rookie, she earned WNBA Newcomer of the Year and All-WNBA First Team honors. Her 373 career assists ranks first on the Rockers' all-time list and 16th in WNBA history. McConnell Serio was a two-time winner of the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award (1998 and 2000).

"I'm really excited about the opportunity of coaching in the WNBA and with the Lynx," said McConnell Serio. "I'm looking forward to the challenge of coaching at this level and working with these players."

Prior to her professional career, McConnell Serio won two Olympic medals. She was a member of the gold medal-winning 1988 U.S. women's basketball team, and earned a bronze medal with the 1992 U.S. Olympic team. Along with the Olympics, she also won a gold medal at the 1991 World University Games.

McConnell Serio completed a stellar collegiate career at Penn State (1984-85 through 1987-88) as the NCAA's all-time career assist leader with 1,307, a record she still holds. As a senior, she was named a First Team Kodak All-American after establishing a school single-season record of 682 points (20.7 ppg). She also set the Penn State all-time record for steals (507) and the single-game record for assists (21). A four-time All-Atlantic 10 Conference player, the Pittsburgh native was named Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Year in 1985.

McConnell Serio and her husband, Pete, have four children: Peter, Jordan, Mandy and Madison. In 1999, Sports Illustrated named her one of the Top 50 Athletes of the Century in the state of Pennsylvania, and in the same year, she was honored as Pittsburgh Athlete of the Year.

McConnell Serio becomes the third head coach in Lynx history. Brian Agler coached the team for three-plus seasons (48-67, 41.7%) before stepping down as coach on July 16, 2002. Assistant coach Heidi VanDerveer was promoted to head coach for the remainder of the 2002 WNBA season (4-9, 30.8%). Minnesota finished the 2002 campaign with a 10-22 overall record.