Suzie McConnell-Serio to be Inducted to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame this Weekend
June 12, 2008
PITTSBURGH - Duquesne University head women's basketball coach Suzie McConnell-Serio will be honored by the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame as part of its tenth group of inductees on June 14 at the Bijou Theatre in Knoxville, Tenn.
The Pittsburgh native finished her first season at DU by taking a team that won only seven games the previous year and transformed them into most improved team in the Atlantic 10 Conference with an overall record of 15-15.
One of the most highly-decorated players in the history of women's basketball, she led Seton-LaSalle High School to a 35-1 record and a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state championship in 1984. Collegiately, she helped Penn State to a 95-33 record and four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. As a Nittany Lion, she was named the school's first First Team All-American while setting NCAA Division I records with 1,307 career assists.
After earning her degree from PSU, McConnell-Serio was a double medal-winner as part of both the 1988 and 1992 United States Olympic teams. She also won a gold medal as a member of the 1991 U.S. World University Games team.
McConnell-Serio was chosen 16th overall in 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 was hired as head coach at Oakland Catholic High School 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. The next season, she was named WNBA Coach of the Year.
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 as well as being named SI's best 5-4 basketball player, male of female, of all-time.
Informed of her induction by Hall of Fame and NCAA champion Tennessee coach Pat Summitt last July, McConnell-Serio joins award-winning official Patty Broderick, head coach of Central Arizona College Lin L. Laursen, head coach of the University of Virginia Debbie Ryan, former All-American at both the University of Tennessee and Wayland Baptist College Jill Rankin Schneider and three-time Olympian Michele Timms in the Class of 2008.