Thursday, September 15, 2011

Debbie Ryan returns to coaching

Now that didn't take long.

Women's Basketball Hall of Fame coach Debbie Ryan, who emotionally retired from Virginia in March after 34 years in charge of the Cavaliers, will return to the sidelines next month as an assistant coach for USA Basketball's Pan-American Games team. The head coach will be another veteran, longtime former Colorado coach Ceal Barry. Jennifer Gillom will be the other assistant.

Ryan has coached several USA Basketball squads since her first stint in 1987. Teams coached by Ryan have won two gold medals and one silver.

"It is the highest of honors to be chosen to coach USA Basketball, and I am very proud to be representing our country in the Pan Am Games,” Ryan said in a release. “USA Basketball is the pinnacle of our sport and it is very humbling to be a part of the team again."

The women's basketball portion of the Pan American Games runs from Oct. 21-25 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The team's roster will be announced soon after a process that will unite Virginia's past with its present and future. Because the team will be comprised primarily of college players, USA Basketball's Player Selection Committee will be assisted by a Junior National Team Committee that includes current Cavaliers coach Joanne Boyle.

In other words, Boyle will help choose the players Ryan will coach.

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