Jennifer Azzi

Last updated
Jennifer Azzi
Jennifer Azzi Coach USF.jpg
Azzi as the coach of University of San Francisco
Personal information
Born (1968-08-31) August 31, 1968 (age 51)
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Listed height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Listed weight143 lb (65 kg)
Career information
High school Oak Ridge (Oak Ridge, Tennessee)
College Stanford (1986–1990)
WNBA draft 1999 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th overall
Selected by the Detroit Shock
Playing career1990–2003
Position Point guard
Career history
As player:
1990–1991SISV Viterbo
1991–1993 US Valenciennes-Orchies
1993–1995 Arvika Basket
1996–1998 San Jose Lasers
1999 Detroit Shock
2000–2003 Utah Starzz/San Antonio Silver Stars
As coach:
2010–2016 University of San Francisco
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
Stats at
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame

Jennifer Lynn Azzi (born August 31, 1968) [1] is a former basketball coach, most recently the head coach of the women's team at the University of San Francisco. [2] Azzi is also a former collegiate and professional basketball player, as well as an Olympic and FIBA world champion. Azzi was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.


College years

Azzi received a scholarship and played point guard for Stanford University's women's basketball team from 1987 to 1990. During her four years at Stanford, the Cardinal compiled a 101-23 win-loss record, [3] and captured two Pac-10 titles.

During her senior year (1990), Azzi led the Cardinal to the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship, [3] defeating Auburn.

Her individual accomplishments included:

Azzi graduated in 1990 with a Bachelor's Degree in economics.

Azzi went to middle school at Jefferson Junior High, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Stanford statistics

Source [7]

  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage 3P%  3-point field goal percentage FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game APG  Assists per game SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high

USA Basketball

In 1988, Azzi was named to the Jones Cup team. The USA team ended the competition with a 3–2 record, but that was enough to secure the silver medal. Azzi averaged 5.4 points per game. [8]

Azzi was a member of the USA National team at the 1990 World Championships, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The team won their opening round games fairly easily, with the closest of the first three games a 27-point victory over Czechoslovakia. Then they faced Cuba, a team that had beaten the US in exhibition matches only a few weeks earlier. The USA team was losing at halftime, but came back to win 87–78. The USA team found itself behind at halftime to Canada in their next game, but came back to win easily 95–70. After an easy match against Bulgaria, in which Azzi hit three of four three-pointers, and scored a team high 13 points, the USA team faced Czechoslovakia again, end achieved an almost identical result, winning 87–59. In the title match, the USA team won the gold medal with a score of 88–78. Azzi averaged 4.6 points per game, and recorded 15 assists, second highest on the team. [9]

Azzi played with the USA team at the 1991 Pan American Games. The team finished with a record of 4–2, but managed to win the bronze medal. The USA team lost a three-point game to Brazil, then responded with wins over Argentina and Cuba, earning a spot in the medal round. The next game was a rematch against Cuba, and this time the team from Cuba won a five-point game. The USA beat Canada easily to win the bronze. Azzi averaged 6.7 points per game. [10]

Azzi was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. women's basketball team at the 1994 Goodwill Games, which was held in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Azzi was named to the USA national team and competed in the 1994 World Championships, held in June 1994 in Sydney, Australia. The team was coached by Tara VanDerveer, and won their first six games, when they faced Brazil. In a closely contested, high-scoring game, Brazil hit ten of ten free throws in the final minute to secure a 110–107 victory. The USA won a close final game against Australia 100–95 to earn the bronze medal. Azzi averaged 4.9 points per game, while recording 16 assists, third highest on the team. [11]

She also won a gold medal while playing for the U.S. women's basketball team at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. [3]

Azzi played for the USA Basketball National Team in a five-game Australian Tour event in 1998, as part of the Goldmark Cup team. The USA and Australian teams had qualified for the 2000 Olympics, and agreed to play five games in five cities in Australia. The Australians won the first three games and the USA team won the last two. [12]

She was one of six core players selected for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, but she withdrew herself from consideration to avoid the extensive touring.

ABL career

Azzi began her professional basketball career playing in the United States when she joined the San Jose Lasers of the American Basketball League (ABL) from 1996 to 1999. She was one of the cofounders of the league. [3] Her participation in the league ended when the ABL declared bankruptcy on December 22, 1998. Shortly afterward, she started a training camp for adults in San Jose, California.

WNBA career

In 1999, Azzi was selected by the Detroit Shock in the first round (fifth overall) in the WNBA Draft. She helped lead the Shock into the playoffs that year. [3]

Just prior to the 2000 season, Azzi was traded to the Utah Starzz. [3] She remained with the team when the franchise relocated to San Antonio, Texas and changed its name to the San Antonio Silver Stars in 2003. [3]

In February 2004, Azzi announced her retirement from professional basketball.

Coaching career

Azzi became the head coach of the women's basketball team at the University of San Francisco in 2010. [13] On March 8, 2016, Azzi lead the Dons to a 70-68 upset over the BYU Cougars in the WCC tournament championship game to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, which was the Dons' first appearance since the 1996-97 season. [14] On September 15, 2016, Azzi stepped down as head coach of the Dons to pursue new career opportunities. [15]

Other Activities

Azzi served on the Board of Directors of USA Basketball for the 2005-2008 term. [16] She was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. [17]

Azzi is now a motivational speaker, residing in Mill Valley, California. [18] She also runs a youth basketball camp every summer held at Tamalpais High School called Azzi Camp. [19]

In December 2014, Azzi was announced as one of the six recipients of the 2015 Silver Anniversary Awards, presented annually by the NCAA to outstanding former student-athletes on the 25th anniversary of the end of their college sports careers. The award is based on both athletic and professional success. [20]

Personal life

On March 31, 2016, Azzi publicly came out as gay, announcing her marriage to USF assistant Blair Hardiek, while introducing Golden State Warriors president Rick Welts at the Anti-Defamation League's Torch of Liberty Award ceremony at the Fairmont Hotel. About coming out, Azzi said, "I, too, lived a long time not being 100 percent honest. Kind of the don't-ask-don't-tell kinda of thing. And it's so stupid. I don't know why we do that, but we do that. I'm a college coach. Is it going to hurt me with recruiting? What are people going to think? And you are constantly worrying about those things. What I realized in watching Rick in his path and his journey is that there is nothing more powerful than living the truth. And the best thing I can do for my team is be authentic and true to myself." [21]

Head coaching record

Statistics overview
San Francisco Dons (West Coast Conference)(2010–present)
2010–11San Francisco4–251–138th
2011–12San Francisco5–253–128th
2012–13 San Francisco 12–194–128th
2013–14 San Francisco 12–196–12T–7th
2014–15 San Francisco 19–148–106th WNIT First Round
2015–16 San Francisco 21–129–96th NCAA First Round
San Francisco:73–114 (.390)31–68 (.313)
Total:73–114 (.390)

      National champion        Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion        Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion      Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

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