Bourges Coach Handed Les Bleues Reins

Bourges head coach Valérie Garnier
Bourges head coach Valérie Garnier will take over coaching the French national team, as well as continuing her work with Bourges

Bourges Basket play-caller Valerie Garnier is to once again follow in the footsteps of Pierre Vincent after the French Basketball Federation revealed she has been promoted to head coach of the senior national team.

Garnier will continue to coach in EuroLeague Women and will assume a dual role for club and country, having served as assistant to Vincent at EuroBasket Women 2013 - just as she did with Bourges before stepping up.

Vincent took France to instant success during his five year tenure, leading Les Bleues to EuroBasket Women gold in 2009 and then grabbing a bronze in Poland two years ago.

He then took the team to successive silver medals, reaching the Final of the London Olympics, before finishing his time in charge with mixed emotions as France lost out on EuroBasket Women gold in gut-wrenching fashion to Spain in front of over 5,000 home fans in Orchies.

French Federation President Jean-Pierre Siutat took the time to pay tribute to the work of Vincent who will continue to coach ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne in Pro A.

He said, "I would firstly like to congratulate Pierre Vincent for leading Team France Women to magnificent achievements since taking office - also for getting them known even more with the general public."

Meanwhile Garnier announced that she was thrilled with her new position and was well aware of the size of the task to continue the work of her predecessor.

She said, "I would like to firstly thank the President of the FFBB, Jean-Pierre Siutat and National Technical Director (Patrick Beesley) for their confidence in me and also to Pierre Fossett, the President of Bourges Basket who has allowed me to take this dual function.

"It is an honour for me to succeed Pierre Vincent, with whom I had the chance to work for two campaigns with Team France.

"I am well placed to know that this is a major challenge and I will make every effort to perpetuate the status obtained by Team France Women."

In his capacity as National Technical Director, Beesley endorsed Garnier and was particularly delighted to have a female coach in the hot-seat and to hopefully attain a seamless transition.

He explained, "The choice of Valerie Garnier seemed logical to ensure continuity with the work of Vincent.

"Valerie has been working with him for two seasons and we are excited to have a female coach and a former international with 61 caps taking the lead."

"This is a reward for Valerie and the work she has done for many years in her role as a club coach."

The first major tournament for Garnier will be the FIBA World Championship for Women in Turkey next year.

But, before she can focus on that goal, she will try to deliver more success with Bourges after leading them to a terrific third place finish last season at the EuroLeague Women Final Eight.



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