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April 25, 2001

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – University of Virginia women’s basketball coach Debbie Ryan has been selected to serve as the head coach of the 2001 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team, according to an announcement by the USA Basketball Women’s Collegiate Committee. University of Iowa coach Lisa Bluder and East Carolina University’s Dee Stokes were named as assistant coaches for the team that will compete August 22-September 1 in Beijing, China.

The World University Games are held every two years and organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). A multi-sport competition, the World Games are open to men and women between the ages of 17 and 28, who are, or have been within the past year, a student at a college or university.

The 2001 World University Games women’s basketball competition, currently featuring squads from 20 countries, has been divided into four preliminary round pools. The United States has been placed in Pool B and will face Canada, Ireland, Japan and South Africa in the preliminary round. Team trials which will be used to select the 12-member USA Women’s World University Games Team will be held May 18-21 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“This is obviously a tremendous honor and something I’m really, really, excited about,” said Ryan. “I was real pleased with the assistant coaches who will be working with me. We’re all head coaches and I’m sure we’ll be coaching together by committee. They’re both excellent coaches, they both add a lot to the X’s and O’s, and they’re both great people. Both have excellent programs at their own schools and I’m looking forward to working with them. I’m also looking forward to the opportunity of coaching a fine group of athletes and getting them prepared to give us a chance at the golf medal.” Ryan has served as both a coach and committee member for USA Basketball in the past. The World University Games mark Ryan’s fourth USA Basketball coaching assignment. She first led the 1987 U.S. Olympic Festival West Team to a 3-1 record and the gold medal and then led the 1988 USA Junior World Championship Qualifying Team to a 7-0 record and a gold medal finish. Returning the following summer to coach the 1989 USA Women’s Junior World Championship Team, Ryan’s squad finished 3-4 and in seventh place. Ryan served as a member of the USA Basketball Games Committee for Women and the USA Basketball Women’s Player Subcommittee during the 1988-1992 quadrennium.

In 24 years as the head coach at Virginia, Ryan has led the Cavaliers to a 544-197 overall record. She had led the Cavaliers to 18 consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, including 12 Sweet Sixteen appearances, four Elite Eight appearances, and three Final Fours. In 1991, Virginia advanced to the NCAA Tournament championship game.

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