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USF’s Jose Fernandez To Assist With Puerto Rico

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USF’s Jose Fernandez To Assist With Puerto Rican National Women’s Basketball Team  

Tampa, FL (June 16, 2006) – University of South Florida head women’s basketball coach Jose Fernandez has been named as an assistant coach for the Puerto Rican National Team. Fernandez will assist the team during its participation in the FIBA Americas Under-18 Tournament in Colorado Springs, CO June 20-July 2.

“I’m extremely honored to get an invitation from the Puerto Rican Basketball Federation to assist its women’s basketball program,†said Fernandez. “I’ve met some great coaches down there through recruiting in Puerto Rico and competing in the San Juan Shootout last season. I’ve also had ladies from Puerto Rico attend my summer camps the last three or four years and I have developed some friendships with youth coaches on the island. I think that it will be a great opportunity working with their staff on an international stage.â€Â

“I would also like to thank our athletics director, Doug Woolard, and associate athletics director and women’s basketball sports administrator, Barry Clements, for the opportunity to be involved with the federation,†said Fernandez. It’s opportunities like these that will only help our team here at USF take yet another step in becoming a top NCAA Division I program.â€Â

This past season Fernandez finished his sixth year as head coach of the Bulls. The Miami native has done a remarkable job in building the program into one of the premier up-an-coming programs in the country. When he took over at USF prior to the 2000-01 season, the Bulls were coming off a 13-16 record during the 1999-00 campaign and then endured a 4-24 season in his first year. Since then, USF has recorded three winning seasons in the past five years and has advanced to the postseason the last three consecutive years. Over the last two seasons the “Green and Gold†have posted a 40-23 record.

The Bulls are coming off the most memorable season in the programs history. USF finished with a 19-12 record and a 9-7 slate in their first year in the BIG EAST Conference. In addition the Bulls advanced to their first-ever NCAA Tournament earning a No. 9 seed in the Bridgeport Region. They faced the No. 8 seed USC in the first round in Norfolk, VA losing to the Women of Troy 67-65.

“It is a privilege and a pleasure to have the chance to work with Coach Fernandez at the upcoming FIBA tournament in the United States,†said Hector Laboy, head coach of the Puerto Rican Women’s National Team. “Coach Fernandez is an experienced and successful Division I coach who will offer a lot to our program. He also is a Latin coach who knows what we want to accomplish with our team and our players.â€Â

Puerto Rico has been placed in Pool B of the FIBA Americas Tournament along with Argentina, Canada, and Costa Rica. They will begin on June 28 when they face Canada and then will take on Costa Rica on June 29. They will conclude preliminary action on June 30 against Argentina.

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