Auriemma in March 2008
|Sport(s)||Women's college basketball|
|Team||University of Connecticut|
March 23, 1954 |
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1985–current||University of Connecticut|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
8× NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship (1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2013)
1-time American Athletic Conference Regular Season Champions
19-time Big East Regular Season Champions
18-time Big East Tournament Champions
6× Naismith Coach of the Year (1995, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2008, 2009)
3× WBCA National Coach of the Year (2002, 2008, 2009)
7× AP Coach of the Year (1995, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2011)
Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame
|Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006
Luigi "Geno" Auriemma (born March 23, 1954 in Montella, Italy) is an American college basketball coach and the head coach of the University of Connecticut Huskies women's basketball team. He has led UConn to eight NCAA Division I national championships, and has won six national Naismith College Coach of the Year awards. Auriemma was also the head coach of the United States women's national basketball team from 2009 to 2012, winning the 2010 World Championship, and the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
He emigrated with his family to Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S. when he was seven years old and spent the rest of his childhood there. After graduating from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 1977, Auriemma was hired as an assistant coach at Saint Joseph's University, where he worked in 1978 and 1979. He then took a two-year absence from college basketball, serving as an assistant coach at his former high school, Bishop Kenrick, before assuming an assistant coaching position with the University of Virginia Cavaliers in 1981. Auriemma became a naturalized United States citizen in 1994, noting in his autobiography that he finally decided to naturalize when his UConn team was slated to tour Italy that summer and he was concerned about potential problems because he had never done any required national service.
||This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. (December 2010)|
Before Auriemma, the Huskies had posted just one winning season in their entire history. As was true at many schools at the time, Connecticut did not have a strong commitment to women's sports. Both players and coaches had to scrape for facilities and resources. Eventually, some students wishing to form a soccer team threatened to sue the university. The Trustees went on record supporting women's sports, and the administration decided to provide more support, especially for sports with a potential for revenue, such as women's basketball. The decision to hire a new coach was part of this commitment to strengthen the women's sports at Connecticut. Auriemma was the last of a series of interviews conducted by the search staff. Most of the other candidates were highly qualified coaches, and most were female. Ironically, one of those included in the interview process was Chris Dailey, who would become Auriemma's assistant, and is currently the Associate Head Coach at UConn. Dailey was identified as the candidate likely to receive an offer if Auriemma turned down the offer.
Connecticut quickly rose to prominence after Auriemma was hired in August 1985: they finished 12–15 in Auriemma's first season, his only losing season at Connecticut. Since then, Connecticut has finished above .500 for 28 consecutive seasons, including 4 undefeated seasons (1994–95, 2001–02, 2008–09, and 2009–10) and 2 NCAA record streaks of 90 and 70 consecutive wins. On December 21, 2010, Auriemma led UConn to their 89th consecutive victory, one more than the all-time NCAA men's wins record of 88 held by UCLA; the streak ended at 90 wins. At end of the 2009–10 season, Auriemma's record as a head coach was 735–122, for an 85.8 winning percentage. That winning percentage is the highest among Division I active coaches. His career in Storrs also includes 19 seasons with 30 or more wins. UConn has won 8 national championships under Auriemma (1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, and 2013) and made the Final Four 14 times (1991, 1995, 1996, 2000–2004, 2008–2013). Auriemma has also guided UConn to 20 Conference regular season titles and 19 Conference Tournament titles.
The team has been especially successful on its home court in the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion on the UConn campus in Storrs, Connecticut, and in the larger XL Center in Hartford; they tied an NCAA women's basketball record with 69 consecutive home wins between 2000 and 2003. That record was broken in 2011. The last home loss was to Villanova in the game that ended their 70-game winning streak. Moreover, between Auriemma's arrival and the close of the 2005 season, UCONN won 295 games versus just 31 losses. The team has set Big East Conference records for both single-game and season-long attendance.
Auriemma is also known for cultivating individual players, and the Ten multiple-All-America players—Rebecca Lobo, Jennifer Rizzotti, Kara Wolters, Nykesha Sales, Svetlana Abrosimova, Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles and Maya Moore—whom Auriemma has coached have combined to win six Naismith College Player of the Year awards, six Wade Trophies, and seven NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player awards. (The UConn athletics website also notes that, through 2006–07, every recruited freshman who has finished her eligibility at Storrs has graduated with a degree.)
The rivalry between the Huskies and the University of Tennessee Lady Vols has extended to Auriemma's relationship with Volunteers counterpart Pat Summitt; the two, through print and broadcast media, are often at odds. At the end of the 2009–10 season, Auriemma had slightly surpassed Summitt among active Division I coaches for career winning percentage, with Auriemma at 85.8 and Summitt at 84.1. Rumors of tension between Auriemma and men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun were widely circulated, but the two apparently reconciled after the teams won national championships, on consecutive nights, in 2004.
Pat Summitt declined to continue the yearly game in June, 2007, to the disappointment of Women's College Basketball fans, but the prospect of NCAA matchups between UConn and Tennessee will keep the rivalry alive.
Since achieving its 1st #1 ranking in the 1994–95 season, UConn under Auriemma is 186-10 when playing as the nation's #1 team. As of the end of the 2009–10 season, he had a record of 127-52 against top 25 opponents and a 57-35 record against top 10 opponents. He won his 600th game on New Year's Eve 2006, accomplishing the feat in 716 games, tying him with Phillip Kahler for the fastest women's basketball coach to reach that milestone. Auriemma won his 700th game on November 27, 2009 in 822 total games becoming the fastest head coach to that milestone in the history of college basketball at any level men or women. He is now one of eight active women's college basketball coaches to currently have 700 or more wins. Auriemma became the 6th coach in Women's basketball history to reach 800 career victories on March 6, 2012 also reaching 800 career wins faster than any coach in the history of college basketball men or women at any division level in just 928 career games. Auriemma was a member of the inaugural class (2006) of inductees to the University of Connecticut women's basketball "Huskies of Honor" recognition program.
Geno Auriemma was named as head coach of the USA team which would compete at the Junior World Championship in Brno, Czech Republic during July of 2001. The team won their first five games, including a record setting win against Mali. The 97–27 final score represented the largest margin of victory by a USA team in Junior World Championship history. The preliminary round results qualified the team for the medal rounds, where they faced the host team, the Czech Republic. With a home crowd cheering them on, the Czech team held a nine point lead with just over six minutes to go. The USA team cut the lead down to three points with seconds to go, and good defense gave the ball back to the USA. However,the USA was called for an offensive foul, and lost possession. The Czech Republic team won 92–88, and went on to beat Russia 82–80 to win the gold medal. The USA team beat Czech Republic 77–72 to won the bronze medal. Diana Taurasi was the leading scorer for the USA with 19.3 points per game, while Alana Beard was close behind with 18.0 points per game. Nicole Powell was the leading rebounder for the USA, with seven rebounds per game.
Auriemma was named head coach of the USA National team in preparation for competition in the 2010 World Championships and 2012 Olympics. Because many team members were still playing in the WNBA until just prior to the event, the team had only one day of practice with the entire team before leaving for Ostrava and Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. Even with limited practice, the team managed to win their first game against Greece by 26 points. The team continued to dominate with victory margins exceeding 20 points in the first five games. Several players shared scoring honors, with Swin Cash, Angel McCoughtry, Maya Moore, Diana Taurasi, Lindsay Whalen, and Sylvia Fowles all ending as high scorer in the first few games. The sixth game was against undefeated Australia—the USA jumped out to a 24 point lead, but the Australian team cut the lead back to single digits late in the game. The USA prevailed 83–75. The USA won their next two games by over thirty points, then faced the host team, the Czech Republic, in the championship game. The USA team had only a five point lead at halftime, which was cut to three points, but the Czechs never got closer. Team USA went on to win the championship and gold medal.
Head coaching record
|Connecticut (Big East Conference) (1985–2013)|
|1988–89||Connecticut||24–6||13–2||1st||NCAA 1st Round|
|1989–90||Connecticut||25–6||14–2||T–1st||NCAA 2nd Round|
|1990–91||Connecticut||29–5||14–2||1st||NCAA Final Four|
|1991–92||Connecticut||23–11||13–5||T–2nd||NCAA 2nd Round|
|1992–93||Connecticut||18–11||12–6||3rd||NCAA 1st Round|
|1993–94||Connecticut||30–3||17–1||1st||NCAA Elite Eight|
|1995–96||Connecticut||34–4||17–1||1st||NCAA Final Four|
|1996–97||Connecticut||33–1||18–0||1st||NCAA Elite Eight|
|1997–98||Connecticut||34–3||17–1||1st||NCAA Elite Eight|
|1998–99||Connecticut||29–5||17–1||T–1st||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|2000–01||Connecticut||32–3||15–1||T–1st||NCAA Final Four|
|2004–05||Connecticut||25–8||13–2||T–2nd||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|2005–06||Connecticut||32–5||14–2||2nd||NCAA Elite Eight|
|2006–07||Connecticut||32–4||16–0||1st||NCAA Elite Eight|
|2007–08||Connecticut||36–2||17–1||1st||NCAA Final Four|
|2010–11||Connecticut||36–2||16–0||1st||NCAA Final Four|
|2011–12||Connecticut||33–5||13–3||3rd||NCAA Final Four|
|Connecticut:||839–133 (.863)||404–60 (.871)|
|Connecticut (American Athletic Conference) (2013–present)|
|Connecticut:||34–0 (1.000)||18–0 (1.000)|
During the college basketball offseason, Auriemma serves as an analyst for games of the Women's National Basketball Association broadcast on the American cable television networks ESPN and ESPN2, in which he often critiques his former players.
Auriemma served as an assistant coach to the gold medalist 2000 U.S. Olympic Team. On April 15, 2009 he was selected to lead USA Basketball Women's National Team in the 2010 FIBA World Championship in the Czech Republic and the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England.
In 2006, Auriemma was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee. In November 2007, Auriemma was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, in a class that included Dick Vermeil, Mike Scioscia, Fred Couples, and others.
In 2010 Auriemma shared the Big East Conference Coach of the Year award with Mike Carey of West Virginia. In 2011, he won the award outright, marking the fourth consecutive year he won the award.
Records and achievements
Auriemma holds the following records and achievements for NCAA basketball:
- Highest winning percentage among active coaches, men's or women's (.863)
- Most NCAA Division I women's championships as a coach (8, tied with Pat Summitt)
- With men's coach Jim Calhoun, the only coaches at the same school to win men's and women's NCAA Final Fours in the same season
- Coached four of the seven undefeated seasons in NCAA women's college basketball (1994–95, 2002–03, 2008–09, 2009–10)
- Most consecutive trips to the Final Four, men's or women's (6, 2008–2013)
- Fastest women's coach to 500 wins, 600 wins, 700 wins, and 800 wins
- Fastest coach to 800 wins, any level, men's or women's
- Most consecutive wins, men's or women's (90, 2008–10)
- Largest margin of victory in a Division I NCAA tournament final (93–60 v. Louisville, 2013)
The win streak of 90 games was bookended by losses to Stanford on April 6, 2008, and December 30, 2010. Among women's teams, the previous record was Auriemma's Huskies teams of 2001 to 2003, who won 70 straight.
- "Naismith College Coach of the Year". Atlanta Tipoff Club. Retrieved 05 Jan 2013.
- "Past RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA National Coaches of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 05 Jan 2013.
- "Award Winners: Coaching Awards" (PDF). 2010–11 NCAA Women's Basketball Records. NCAA. p. 9. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
- Associated Press (April 2, 2011). "Geno Auriemma shares AP honor". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
- "Naismith Awards". Retrieved 09 Nov 2008.
- "Geno Auriemma, Bio". Retrieved 05 Apr 2012.
- Auriemma, MacMullan p 1
- "Picture of Auriemma with his mother". Retrieved 02 Apr 2012.
- Auriemma, MacMullan p 205
- Connecticut Huskies fans asked to recite Pledge of Allegiance before games - ESPN
- Auriemma, MacMullan p 151
- Giuca, Linda. "CELEBRITY COOKIE COUNTDOWN: Geno Auriemma", Hartford Courant. Accessed March 1, 2011. "The Auriemmas spent Thanksgiving at their home in Avalon, N.J., close to the Philadelphia area where the couple's respective families live."
- Grundy p 239
- Karmel p 21–23
- "NCAA Division I Records". pp. Sec10:36. Retrieved 09 Nov 2008.
- "Maya Moore leads UConn women to 89th consecutive victory, surpassing UCLA men".
- "NCAA Coaching Records". Retrieved 09 Nov 2008.
- "UConn Huskies". Retrieved 09 Nov 2008. [dead link]
- "NCAA History". Retrieved 8 Nov 2008.
- "Women's Basketball 1995 National Championship Team to be Recognized as "Huskies of Honor"". Retrieved 2009-07-24.
- "FIFTH FIBA WOMEN'S U19/JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP -- 2001". USA Basketball. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
- "SIXTEENTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN -- 2010". USA Basketball. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- Auriemma, MacMullan p 215
- "St. Joseph's University". Retrieved 09 Nov 2008.
- "UConn Press release". Retrieved 23 April 2009.
- "Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund". Retrieved 2009-07-13.[dead link]
- "Hall of Fame Feature". Retrieved 8 Nov 2008.[dead link]
- "WBHOF Inductees". Retrieved 8 Nov 2008.
- "National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame". Retrieved 8 Nov 2008.[dead link]
- "USBWA Press release". Retrieved 1 April 2009.
- "USBWA WOMEN'S HONORS". USBWA. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
- Altavilla, John (5 March 2010). "Tina Charles, Geno Auriemma Win Big East Top Honors". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
- Elliott, Rich (March 4, 2011). "Hartley Named Big East Freshman Of The Year". Hartford Courant.
- AMORE, DOM (May 22, 2013). "Auriemma & Pitino: Mutual Admiration". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
- Auriemma, G.; MacMullan, J. (2006). Geno: In pursuit of Perfection. Warner Books. ISBN 0-446-57764-2.
- Grundy, Pamela (2005). Shattering the glass. New Press. ISBN 978-1-56584-822-1.
- Karmel, Terese (2005). Hoop Tales:UConn Huskies Women's Basketball (First ed.). Globe Pequot Press. ISBN 0-7627-3501-5.
- Geno's Summer Basketball Program - The Connecticut Girls Basketball Camp
- University of Connecticut biography
- Women's Basketball Hall of Fame profile
- Basketball Hall of Fame induction announcement
- Basketball Hall of Fame profile
- Photos of Auriemma some of with his teams
- Los Angeles Times article on relationship with Calhoun