Geno Auriemma was named coach of the University of Connecticut's women's basketball program on May 17, 1985, and in 31 years has led the UConn Huskies to seventeen Final Fours and won eleven national championships. He became the first coach in women's basketball history to guide a team to five consecutive Final Fours (2000-04), a record only to be broken by his current team who just played in their ninth consecutive final four in 2016. Coach Auriemma won his 900th career game faster than anyone in the sport's Division I history. His overall record of 955-134 (.877) is the highest winning percentage of all active Division I coaches. He is an eight-time national coach of the year, ten times the Big East's coach of the year, and has amassed a total of 27 “Coach of the Year Honors.” His lady huskies have also won 7 of the last 9 Big East Conference Championships before the conference re-alignment. During Coach Auriemma's tenure the Lady Huskies have won 39 Conference Titles and have amassed 6 perfect seasons. Moreover, the student-athletes in his program boast a 100% graduation rate over the past 31 years!
Auriemma, the son of Italian immigrants, was born in Italy and moved to Norristown, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia, with his parents, brother and sister, when he was young. He is a graduate of Bishop Kendrick High School and West Chester (Pa.) University. His coaching career began as the assistant women's basketball coach at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia during the 1978-79 season. He later coached boys high school basketball at Bishop Kendrick before becoming an assistant to coach Debbie Ryan at the University of Virginia in 1981, where he worked until UConn hired him.
In 2006, Auriemma was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2007, he was also inducted into the Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame in Chicago. He has coached eight Olympians, seven national players of the year and 13 first-team All-Americans and was the former president of the WBCA (Women's Basketball Coaches Association). In 2009 he was named the Olympic head coach. He led the USA Women’s Basketball team to gold in the 2010 World Championships in Turkey, to gold in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and to gold in the 2014 World Championships in Turkey. Auriemma will look to continue his streak of gold at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio this August.
He and his wife, Kathy, have three children, Jenna, Alyssa and Michael. He also is a proud grandfather of three grandsons, Christian, Andrew and Luke.
University of Connecticut's Geno Auriemma To Lead USA Basketball Women's National Team At 2010 World Championship, 2012 Olympic Games
USA Basketball today announced that Geno Auriemma, an assistant coach to the gold medalist 2000 U.S. Olympic Team will serve as the head coach of the USA Basketball Women's National Team for 2009-12. With 24-year coaching veteran Auriemma at the helm, the USA Basketball Women's National Team will compete in the 2010 FIBA World Championship (Sept. 23 - Oct. 3 in the Czech Republic), and if the USA qualifies, the 2012 Summer Olympic Games (July 27 - Aug. 12 in London, England), as well as additional USA training camps and exhibition games. Auriemma's selection was made by the USA Basketball Women's National Team Steering Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
"I don't know if I can adequately describe my feelings and my emotions when I was asked to do this and how I felt ever since," said Auriemma. "It's an opportunity that if you're very fortunate comes once in your life and I never thought I would ever have this opportunity. It's just overwhelming, the emotions that run through you. What an incredible honor it is to be selected."
The U.S. and Auriemma will first look to capture the title at the 16th FIBA World Championship, scheduled to be played Sept. 23 - Oct. 3 in the Czech Republic, with an automatic berth to the 2012 Olympic Games being awarded to the gold medalist. Should the U.S. not finish with the gold medal in '10, it would have two additional chances to qualify for the Olympics: the 2011 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament (dates and site TBD); and 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament (dates and site TBD).
Colorado Springs, Colo. - April 15, 2009