Auriemma boasts seven NCAA titles, 100 percent graduation rate
LOS ANGELES (October 12, 2011) – University of Connecticut Head Women’s Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma will be presented with the John R. Wooden Award’s “Legends of Coaching” honor in 2012, Coach Wooden’s daughter, Nan Wooden, announced today at the annual Wooden Award preseason tipoff luncheon, held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Auriemma ranks as one of the winningest coaches in NCAA history, with seven national titles, 12 Final Fours and four undefeated seasons, including 39-0 NCAA title-producing campaigns in 2009 and 2010. His all-time coaching record is 771-124 (.861/26 yrs), tops among active NCAA coaches and No. 2 all-time in win percentage. His all-time record in the NCAA tournament is an astounding 81-16 (.835/24 yrs.).
Since Geno Auriemma arrived at UConn, all players who have exhausted their eligibility have graduated. He will coach the U.S. Olympic team next summer in London.
UConn’s men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun was the Legends of Coaching winner in 2005; Connecticut is the only school with two recipients. Auriemma has coached the last three John R. Wooden Award women’s winners, Maya Moore (2009 and 2011) and Tina Charles (2010). Auriemma and Coach Wooden became linked in fans’ minds last year when Coach Wooden’s grandson, Greg Wooden, was on hand as the Huskies broke the Wooden-led UCLA consecutive win streak at 88 last December.
Away from the court, Auriemma is involved in numerous regional and state charitable and educational efforts. He implemented a statewide elementary reading initiative called Geno’s Reading Team in 2008 in Connecticut. He has worked tirelessly in the fight against cancer and established “Geno’s Cancer Team” in 2008, while working closely with the V Foundation and the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Auriemma annually hosts the Fore the Kids Golf Outing to benefit the CT Children’s Hospital, as well as working with his team on community charity events throughout the year.
The “Legends of Coaching” award was adopted by the Wooden Award Committee in 1999. The first recipient was Dean Smith of North Carolina. The award recognizes coaches who exemplify Coach Wooden’s high standards of coaching success and personal integrity. The honorees are selected based on character, success on the court, graduation rates of student-athletes in their basketball program, coaching philosophy, and identification with the goals of the John R. Wooden Award. Auriemma will be recognized, along with the men’s and women’s 2012 John R. Wooden Award winners and the Wooden Award All American teams, at the Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of April 6-8, 2012.