USA Basketball announced their head coach and coaching staff for the 2017 USA Basketball Women's U16 National Team, naming Lubbock Christian University women's basketball head coach Steve Gomez as assistant coach.
Carla Berube (Tufts University) was named head coach along with Vanessa Nygaard (Windward School in Los Angeles, Calif.) as a second assistant coach. The coaching staff was selected by the USA Basketball Women's Developmental National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
"Carla, Steve, and Vanessa not only have had success with their respective programs, they also have experience with USA Basketball at this age group," said Carol Callan, USA Basketball Women's National Team director and chair of the USA Basketball Women's Developmental National Team Committee. "The committee is confident that their leadership will benefit all of the players who attend trials and those who make the 12-member USA roster."
An LCU 1988 graduate, Gomez previously was a court coach for the 2016 USA Basketball Women's U17 World Championship Team Trials.
He recently completed his 14th season (2003-04 to present) as head coach at LCU, where he has posted an overall record of 334-115 (.744). LCU finished 19-11 in 2016-17, and since competing in the NCAA Division II beginning in 2013-14, Gomez has compiled a striking 100-19 (.840) DII record.
In 2015-16, Lubbock Christian claimed the NCAA Division II national championship and a perfect 35-0 season, leading to United States Marine Corps/WBCA NCAA Div. II National Coach of the Year accolades.
"It is really difficult to adequately express what it means to have the opportunity coach for USA Basketball," Gomez said. "To be able to be a part of the highest quality basketball organization in the world and have a chance to work with the top high school basketball players in the nation is incredibly humbling and a task that I will approach with great respect and enthusiasm."
"I'm thrilled to be working alongside both Steve and Vanessa," Berube said of the 2017 USA assistant coaches. "I got to know and work with Steve last year at the trials. He has a great basketball mind, has an awesome passion for the game and brings great energy to the court… Steve and Vanessa have notably different coaching backgrounds, but I see remarkable similarities in their character, leadership and ability to connect with and motivate players, and I am confident in the expertise they bring to the USA Basketball coaching staff."