Suzie McConnell-Serio Named Head Women's Basketball Coach
April 13, 2007
Pittsburgh native Suzie McConnell-Serio, one of the most highly-decorated players in the history of women's basketball, owner of over 300 wins as a high school head coach and former WNBA Coach of the Year, has been named head women's basketball coach at Duquesne University, Director of Athletics Greg Amodio announced today.
McConnell-Serio, the ninth head coach in the 34-year history of the Duquesne women's basketball program, was formally introduced at a media conference on Friday afternoon.
"Suzie McConnell-Serio has been synonymous with success at every level as both a player and coach," said Amodio. "She experienced great success in the Atlantic 10 as a player at Penn State and we look for her to do the same as a head coach. Suzie is a proven winner with the drive and passion to take Duquesne women's basketball to new heights."
"I'm excited to be the head coach at Duquesne University," said McConnell-Serio. "I'm impressed with the vision [University President] Dr. [Charles] Dougherty and Greg Amodio have for the program. Pittsburgh is my home and Duquesne is a great fit for me and my family. I got my start in the Atlantic 10 as a player and I'm eager to be part of the A-10 as a coach."
McConnell-Serio was one of the most successful high school coaches in the state in compiling a 321-86 (.789) record and winning three Class AAAA state titles and four District 7 (WPIAL) championships in 13 seasons at Pittsburgh's Oakland Catholic High School.
As a professional coach, she guided the WNBA Minnesota Lynx to back-to-back playoff appearances - including the first in franchise history - in 2003 and 2004 and was named WNBA Coach of the Year in 2004.
McConnell-Serio, 40, attended Pittsburgh's Seton-La Salle High School prior to beginning an outstanding playing career as a point guard at Penn State University.
In four seasons at PSU (1984-85 through 1987-88), McConnell-Serio helped the Nittany Lions to a 95-33 record and four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. In the process, she was named the school's first First Team All-American while setting NCAA Division I records for career assists (1,307), assists in a season (355 in 1987) and season assist average (11.8 in 1987). Her assist total and assist per game average led the nation in both 1986 & 1987.
Following her collegiate career, McConnell-Serio was a double medal-winner as part of both the 1988 and 1992 United States Olympic teams. In 1988 she helped the U.S. to a gold medal in Seoul and in 1992 she was a bronze medalist in Barcelona. She also won a gold medal as a member of the 1991 U.S. World University Games team.
McConnell-Serio was chosen in the second round (16th overall) of the 1998 WNBA Draft by the Cleveland Rockers and went on to earn Newcomer of the Year and All-WNBA First Team honors in her first season in the league. She also won the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award twice (1998 & 2000) in her three seasons in the WNBA.
McConnell-Serio took the reigns of the Oakland Catholic program in 1990-91 and won her first of three Class AAAA State Championships in 1993. In 13 years, McConnell-Serio averaged over 24 wins per season. She added additional state titles in 2001 & 2003 and runner-up finishes in 2000 & 2002. Nearly a dozen of her former players went on to earn NCAA Division I scholarships.
In January of 2003, McConnell-Serio returned to the WNBA as head coach of the Minnesota Lynx and took a team that finished 10-22 in the previous season to an 18-16 record and first-ever playoff appearance.
One year later, she took a team picked to finish last in the Western Conference by a number of preseason publications and made a return trip to the playoffs and in the process was named the 2004 WNBA Coach of the Year. The `04 Lynx, who earned a franchise-best No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, tied franchise records for wins (18), home victories (11) and road wins (7) all set in McConnell-Serio's first season. In addition, Minnesota enjoyed a franchise record six-game winning streak. McConnell-Serio, who completed her degree in education at Penn State in 1988, has won numerous awards throughout her career. She was named to the USA Today All-Time Women's Basketball Team and was also named one of Sports Illustrated's Top 50 Pennsylvania Athletes of the Century.
She was a member of the 10-person USA Basketball Executive Committee from 2001-04 and was inducted to the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. She was also the first Dapper Dan Sportswoman of the Year winner in 1999.
McConnell-Serio and her husband, Pete - who along with Suzie was born and raised in the Brookline area of Pittsburgh - are the parents of four children: Peter (16), Jordan (12), Mandy (11) and Madison (9).
A Closer Look at
Birthdate: July 29, 1966
HEAD COACHING EXPERIENCE
PROFESSIONAL (WNBA) YEARS TEAM W/L PCT 2003 Minnesota Lynx 18-16 .529 2004 Minnesota Lynx 18-16 .529 2005 Minnesota Lynx 14-20 .412 2006 Minnesota Lynx 8-15 .348 TOTAL Three-plus seasons 58-67 .464
Guided the Lynx to their first-ever playoff appearance in 2003 ... named
HIGH SCHOOL (13 seasons) 1991-03 Oakland Catholic 321-86 .789
Won PIAA Class AAAA State Championships in 1993, 2001 & 2003 ...
0-- Number of playoff appearances made by the Minnesota Lynx prior to the hiring of Suzie McConnell-Serio as head coach in 2003. McConnell-Serio led the Lynx to back-to-back playoff appearances in 2003 & 2004.
2 -- Number of medals won as a player for the United States Olympic Basketball Team (1988 Seoul gold and 1992 Barcelona bronze). McConnell-Serio also won a gold medal as a member of the U.S. 1991 World University Games team.
2 -- Number of Atlantic 10 Tournament championships won by Penn State (1985 & 1986) during McConnell-Serio's four-year career. She was named to the A-10 All-Championship Team three times (1985, 1986 & 1988) and Most Outstanding Player once (1985).
3 -- Number of seasons McConnell-Serio played for the WNBA Cleveland Rockers. The 16th overall pick (second round) in the 1998 WNBA Draft, McConnell-Serio earned Newcomer of the Year and All-WNBA First Team honors in 1998. She was also a two-time winner of the league's Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award.
4 -- Number of NCAA Tournament appearances McConnell-Serio made as a player at Penn State between 1984-85 and 1987-88.
4 -- McConnell Serio - a four-time First Team All-Atlantic 10 player - still owns the top four assist per game season's in Atlantic 10 history. She ranks tenth in career points (1,897), first in assists (1,307) and second in steals (507).
24.7 -- Number of wins McConnell-Serio's Oakland Catholic teams averaged in her 13 seasons as head coach.
1,307 -- NCAA Division I record number of assists handed out by McConnell-Serio in her four seasons at Penn State. McConnell-Serio, who averaged 10.2 assists per game for her career, also holds NCAA records for assists in a season (355 in 1987), and season average per game (11.8 in 1987). She led the nation in assists and assists per game in both 1986 & 1987.
1988 -- Became the first First Team All-American in Penn State women's basketball history. Also named winner of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award given to the outstanding female senior collegian 5-8 or under.
"I watched Suzie evolve as both a player and a coach. I have had teams compete with her as a player and against her as a coach. She is one of those rare people you almost don't mind losing to because you know you lost to someone who does things right. There is no doubt in my mind that she will be successful."
- HEAD COACH/GENERAL MANAGER
-UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS HEAD COACH THERESA GRENTZ
- OHIO STATE HEAD COACH JIM FOSTER