#ThePostUp Podcast 5/9/16: Jennifer Rizzotti on her new head coaching challenge, USA Basketball and the WNBA

Jennifer Rizzotti (April 15, 2016). Photo: George Washington Athletics.
Jennifer Rizzotti (April 15, 2016). Photo: George Washington Athletics.

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After 17 years at the helm of Hartford, Jennifer Rizzotti left New England to accept the challenge as the head coach of Atlantic 10 Conference powerhouse George Washington, a program that has seen numerous successes in recent years.

Rizzotti became a head coach at the age of 25 and helped Hartford reach several milestones. She was a finalist for the Kay Yow National Coach of the Year award in 2009-10 after leading Hartford to a school-record 20-game winning streak, a perfect 16-0 record in conference play and the program’s first-ever national ranking.

She also served as head coach of 2010 FIBA Americas U18 gold medal team as well as the 2011 U19 World Champions. In addition, she is a part of the USA Basketball Women’s National Team’s staff in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

As a college player, Rizzotti helped lead Connecticut to its first national championship in 1995 with an undefeated 35-0 record. Her pro career included three seasons in the ABL and five seasons in the WNBA including stints with the Houston Comets and Cleveland Rockers.

On the podcast she discusses:

  • Finding the right work-life balance as a head coach with young children
  • Challenging herself professionally
  • Being able to witness Connecticut win an 11th national title along with her teammates from the 1995 championship team
  • Her pride in seeing former teammate, Tufts head coach Carla Berube, coach in the DIII championship
  • Her expectations in her new job at George Washington and the program’s recent successes
  • The challenges of recruiting in the Washington, D.C. area
  • How her experience as a successful coach of USA Basketball teams has helped her collegiate career
  • The increase in parity in women’s basketball and recent newcomers to the Final Four
  • Her thoughts on the history and future of the WNBA as a former player in the league
  • The advantage of being in the same town as the Washington Mystics for her players and as a coach


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