Originally created 02/08/00

Rizzotti signs deal to coach Hartford



WEST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Former Connecticut star Jennifer Rizzotti signed a four-year contract to remain as coach of the University of Hartford women's basketball team.

The contract, announced Monday, includes an option for Rizzotti to continue her pro playing career.

Rizzotti was hired as Hartford's coach in September, and the Hawks are 10-10 this season. Hartford, picked to finish last in the America East in a preseason coaches' poll, is 5-6 in the conference and fifth after a 58-54 victory over New Hampshire on Saturday.

Rizzotti helped UConn to two Final Four appearances. She was a two-time All-American at Connecticut and The Associated Press national player of the year and Big East player of the year in 1995-96, when UConn went 35-0.

Rizzotti, who recently married and still lives in Connecticut, has played four seasons of pro basketball since her graduation.

She was a top pick of the New England Blizzard in the defunct American Basketball League and was twice named to the ABL all-star team. She joined the Houston Comets of the WNBA after the ABL folded.

Rizzotti, 25, is the youngest women's basketball coach in Division I.