Former Opals guard Sandy Brondello will lead the Australian women's basketball team in their quest for an Olympic Games gold medal, having signed on to coach the team until the completion of Tokyo 2020.
Brondello will remain in charge of WNBA side Phoenix Mercury, who she led to a championship in 2014, with Basketball Australia and Phoenix agreeing to Brondello splitting her time between the two.
"I am very honoured to be selected for the role of Opals head coach," Brondello said.
"I am beyond excited about the opportunity and I look forward to being back with the Opals team and building towards success in Tokyo."
Brondello will commence in the role as head coach of the Opals from May 1, two days before the Mercury start their WNBA pre-season against Seattle Storm.
"We are enormously grateful for the support of the Mercury organisation in Sandy's appointment" said Basketball Australia CEO, Anthony Moore.
"This is a fantastic acquisition for the Opals with Sandy owning an intimate knowledge of both the Opals and the international game. We are confident this will ensure we remain as one of the top basketball countries in the world."
Brondello has led a team to the playoffs in each of her four years as a head coach in the WNBA, including one year in San Antonio.
Phoenix General Manager Jim Pitman said they've always considered Brondello one of the top coaches in the game.
"Her unparalleled preparation, high-level basketball IQ, and her ability to build relationships with players make her the perfect choice to lead Australia's program," Pitman said.
"We are thrilled our head coach is now recognised as one of the best coaches in the world and we wish her the best of luck."
Becoming an Opal when she was still a teenager, Brondello played 302 games for the national team and finished as the third most capped player of all time.
She won three successive Olympic medals with a bronze in 1996 and silver medals in 2000 and 2004.
The Opals squad will convene for the first time since the Rio Olympics at a camp in Phoenix, Arizona, from May 3-11.
At the Rio Games, the Opals lost to Serbia in the quarter-finals, missing out on a medal for the first time since 1988.