MAKERS Moment

That Comparison to the Men

That Comparison to the Men

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Geno Auriemma talks about the perceptions of women in basketball.

Geno's Biography

Since 1985, Geno Auriemma has led the University of Connecticut’s women's basketball team in 43 regular seasons and tournament titles, has advanced the team to 17 Final Fours, posted six perfect seasons and won 11 national championships. He has served as head coach of the U.S. Women’s basketball team winning the 2010 and 2014 World Championships, and the gold medal at the Olympics as assistant coach in 2000, and as head coach in 2012 and 2016. Twelve of the players he coached on the UConn Huskies have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games. Currently, UConn has won 111 consecutive straight games, a new NCAA record. 

 

Auriemma grew up in Montella, Italy and moved to the U.S. in 1961 when he was 7 years old. During his sophomore year at Bishop Kendrick High School, Auriemma played basketball for the varsity coach, Buddy Gardler. Gardler's admirable coaching style inspired Auriemma to become a coach.

 

Auriemma met his wife Kathy in December 1972 at Montgomery County Junior College before transferring to West Chester State University. After graduating in 1981, he became assistant coach and in charge of recruiting players at the University of Virginia. By his third season his reputation was highly recognized as his team recruited six high school All-Americans and held a 24-8 record, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title, ranking No. 10 in the nation, and a place in the NCAA tournament. That's when UConn had its eye on him. Auriemma was in no rush to jump at opportunity but after talking to John Toner and Pat Meiser something told him to go for it, and the rest is history.