Thibault Joins USA Women’s World Championship Staff

Mike ThibaultUNCASVILLE, CT. (February 16, 2006) — Connecticut Sun coach Mike Thibault has been named to the coaching staff of the 2006 USA Women’s World Championship team that will compete for a gold medal at the FIBA Women’s World Championship this September in Sao Paulo, Brazil, under the direction of head coach Anne Donovan.

Thibault joins a staff that includes Duke women’s coach Gail Goestenkors and Temple women’s coach Dawn Staley. He brings extensive international experience to the staff, having coached the USA Men’s Pan American Games team to a silver medal in 1995, and the USA Men’s World Championship Qualifying Team to a gold medal in 1993.

“To be able to coach for USA Basketball is an honor,” Thibault said. “But to be able to do it on both sides is amazing. It’s not something I ever would have expected to do in my career. Some of my best coaching experiences have been with USA Basketball. I’ve known Anne for a long time, and I’m looking forward to working with Gail and Dawn. They are all great coaches who have done so much for the game.”

Thibault has compiled a 62-40 regular season record in three years with the Sun, leading the team to three straight WNBA Eastern Conference Finals, and two straight WNBA Finals. Last year, Connecticut finished with a 26-8 regular season record, the best ever by an Eastern Conference team. Thibault also won a CBA championship with the Omaha Racers, and he was on the staff of the Los Angeles Lakers teams that won championships in 1980 and ’82.

“Mike Thibault has shown the WNBA what he is all about, winning,” said Donovan, the head coach of the Seattle Storm. “He has coached his Connecticut Sun team to the WNBA Finals the past two seasons, and throughout his career, has shown abilities to win. Mike’s experience with some of our men’s teams internationally will be a help to us as well.”

The FIBA World Championships run from Sept. 12-23. The United States has won the last two world titles, and four of the last five. It has won 19 straight games in this tournament.

Click here for a transcript of Thibault's press conference call.