May 15, 1974 |
White Plains, New York
|1996–1998||New England Blizzard|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|NCAA National championship as a player (1995)
4× America East championship as a coach (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008)
3× America East regular season championships (2006–2008)
|2× America East Coach of the Year (2006, 2007)
Honda-Broderick Cup (1996)
Associated Press Player of the Year (1996)
Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award (1996)
From 1992 to 1996, she starred on the women's basketball team at the University of Connecticut. She was the starting point guard on the Huskies first national championship team in 1995, which recorded a perfect season, winning all 35 games. Rizzotti's picture was on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine in recognition of the perfect season. Jen was awarded the prestigious Honda-Broderick Cup for 1995-96, presented to the athlete "most deserving of recognition as the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year". She was named the 1996 Associated Press Player of the Year. Rizzotti was a member of the inaugural class of inductees to the University of Connecticut women's basketball "Huskies of Honor" recognition program. Rizzotti won the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award during the 1995-96 basketball season. This award is given to the best women's basketball player in the country under 5'6' tall. During the 1995-96 season Jennifer set school records for assists with 212 and steals with 112. Jennifer graduated with a degree in biology.
Sports Illustrated did a series of thirteen photographs featuring players and team member of teams chasing or achieving perfect seasons—an entire season without a loss. The cover photo of Jennifer Rizzoti racing upcourt is one of the photos in the collection.
USA Basketball - player
Rizzotti was invited to be a member of the Jones Cup team representing the USA in 1996. She helped the team to a 9–0 record, and the gold medal in the event. Rizzotti averaged 2.6 points per games, while recording 26 assists, highest on the team.
Awards and honors
- 1996—Winner of the Honda award for basketball
- 1996—The Honda-Broderick Cup winner for all sports.
She began her career as a professional basketball player playing for the New England Blizzard, of the now defunct American Basketball League. During that time she was a 2-time All-Star, Rizzotti was a member of the Houston Comets after being drafted in 1999, and played for the Comets in 1999 and 2000. The Comets won the League Championship both seasons. In 2001 she was traded to the Detroit Shock, but a month later, she was traded to the Cleveland Rockers. She played for the Cleveland Rockers from 2001-2003. Rizzotti was selected in the dispersal draft by the Detroit Shock in January 2004, but she retired from the WNBA.
Rizzotti is currently the head basketball coach at George Washington University in Washington, DC. She has recently finished her 17th season as the head women's basketball coach at the University of Hartford, where she has led the Hawks to four America East Conference championships and four trips to the NCAA Tournament. She was named America East Coach of the Year in the 2006, 2007 and 2010 seasons. In 2010 Rizzotti guided Hartford to an undefeated regular season in the America East Conference, and was one of the 10 finalists up for the Kay Yow Coach of the Year.
Rizzotti served as the head coach of the USA Basketball U18 team, at the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women in June 2010 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs CO. She previously served as an assistant coach of the U18 team, assisting head coach Doug Bruno in 2006, when the team went 4-0 to win the gold medal.
In 2011, Rizzotti was named USA Basketball National Coach of the Year. She was the head coach for the USA U18 team, which won the gold medal at the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. She continued as head coach of the U19 team and guided the team to another gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Championship games held in Chile.
Hall of Fame
Rizzotti was inducted in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in June 2013. In her emotional acceptance speech she summarized, "I'm in the Hall of Fame because I played at the right school, at the right time with the right teammates, and I was taught to be a champion by the best coach who's ever coached the game."  Her credentials included point guard on the 1995 National Championship team, and winner of the Wade Trophy and AP national player of the year award.
Rizzotti married University of Hartford assistant, Bill Sullivan in July 1999. The two welcomed their first child on April 16, 2005. His name is Holden Thomas Sullivan. The couple's second child, Conor, was born on July 8, 2008.
Rizzotti was honored by her alma mater, the University of Connecticut, as the winner of the Red O'Neill Award, an award given annually to a former student athlete who has "gone on to distinguish themselves in their chosen career".
Rizzotti was honored by The University of Hartford in 2010, as Commencement speaker. Additionally she received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University.
University of Connecticut statistics
|Jennifer Rizzotti Statistics at University of Connecticut|
Head coaching record
|Hartford (America East Conference) (2000–2009)|
|2001–02||Hartford||16-15||9-7||NCAA Tournament 1st Round|
|2004–05||Hartford||22-9||13-5||NCAA 1st Round|
|2005–06||Hartford||27-4||15-1||1st||NCAA 2nd Round|
|2006–07||Hartford||25-9||15-1||1st||WNIT 2nd Round|
|2007–08||Hartford||28-6||14-2||1st||NCAA 2nd Round|
|2008–09||Hartford||20-12||14-2||2nd||WNIT 2nd Round|
|2009–10||Hartford||27-5||16-0||1st||NCAA 1st Round|
|2010–11||Hartford||17-16||11-5||4th||NCAA 1st Round|
|2011–12||Hartford||19-13||10-6||3rd||WNIT 1st Round|
|2012–13||Hartford||21-12||10-6||3rd||WNIT 1st Round|
|Hartford:||305-181 (.628)||176-88 (.667)|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
- "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved 23 Sep 2015.
- Courant, Hartford. "It's Official: Jen Rizzotti Leaving UHart To Coach At George Washington". courant.com. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
- "SI Covers". Sports Illustrated. pp. Cover. Retrieved 2009-09-28.
- "Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year". Retrieved 2009-06-12.
- "University of Hartford Biography". Retrieved 2009-06-12.
- "Women's Basketball 1995 National Championship Team to be Recognized as "Huskies of Honor"". Retrieved 2009-07-24.
- "Frances Pomeroy Naismith". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 30 Jun 2014.
- "In Search of Perfection". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- "1996 Women's R. William Jones Cup". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "PAST HONDA SPORTS AWARD WINNERS FOR BASKETBALL". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
- "Past Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Winners (Honda Cup)". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
- "Jennifer Rizzotti". Retrieved 2009-07-06.
- "Houston Comets Draft History". Retrieved 2009-07-06.
- Porter p 399
- "Coach of the Year". Retrieved 2009-07-06.
- "Draw Announced For 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship For Women". USA Basketball. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- "College Rizzotti To Coach U.S. U-18 Team". Hartford Courant. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
- "USA Women's FIBA Americas U18 Championship All-Time Coaching Staff". USA Basketball. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- "Jennifer Rizzotti Named USA Basketball Coach Of The Year". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
- Cornelius, Maria M. (June 9, 2013). "Six enter Women's Basketball HOF". ESPN. Retrieved 9 Jun 2013.
- "The Wade Trophy". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 30 Jun 2014.
- "They're the class of 2013". ESPN. June 7, 2013. Retrieved 9 Jun 2013.
- Porter p 398
- "Connecticut Women's Basketball Hall Of Fame". Connecticut Women's Basketball Hall Of Fame. Retrieved 2009-09-28.
- "Hartford coach honored by UConn". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
- "UConn Media Guide" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 18, 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
- David L. Porter, ed. (2005). Basketball: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-30952-6.
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