Former Stanford star Azzi to become San Francisco coach
SAN FRANCISCO – Jennifer Azzi will be the University of San Francisco’s new women’s basketball coach, two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Thursday night.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the school had yet to make a formal announcement. The 1996 gold medalist and former Stanford All-American and WNBA star is set to be introduced by the school in a news conference Friday – her first major coaching job.
The 41-year-old Azzi is widely considered one of the best women’s basketball players ever. While at Stanford, she led the Cardinal to their first NCAA title in 1990.
This is a huge, high-profile hire for USF athletic director Debra Gore-Mann, who came from Stanford. She and Azzi will be determined to turn the women’s program back into a contender in the West Coast Conference.
Azzi replaces Tanya Haave, who was fired late last month after four disappointing seasons. Azzi – who refers to herself as a health and wellness enthusiast on her Twitter account – has worked as a motivational speaker and stayed close to the Stanford program and coach Tara VanDerveer.
Haave went 36-86 overall and 12-44 in conference play during her tenure, including 5-27 overall and 1-13 in WCC play this season. It marked the Dons’ fourth straight seventh-place finish in the conference.
Haave, a former Denver assistant hired in April 2006 to become only the seventh head coach at USF, was a three-year starter during her playing career at Tennessee from 1980-84. She also spent four years as an assistant coach at Colorado.
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