UConn coach Geno Auriemma says he would rather still be coaching against the late Pat Summitt than moving past her on the all-time wins list.
The Huskies routed Butler 103-35 on Tuesday, giving Auriemma his 1,099th win. The victory leaves him just behind Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer (1,105) and gives him one more than his former rival, Summitt, who died in 2016 at the age of 64. It comes just two days before the Huskies visit Knoxville to take on the Lady Vols.
“I wish she were still coaching and I wish I had to work a lot harder to catch her,” Auriemma said. “It’s ironic that it plays out the way it played out, because to be honest with you, I didn’t think I’d be coaching long enough to be in this position.”
Tennessee coach Kellie Harper said Tuesday that having Auriemma or anyone else pass Summitt’s win total does not take anything away from her coach and what she was able to do.
“Because it wasn’t about the numbers. It was about her legacy, and it was about who she was as a person and how she uplifted all of us to be better and to give us an opportunity that we have,” Harper said. “That’s what she was all about. She won a lot of games in the process, but her her legacy is so much more than numbers.”
A 2006 inductee to both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Auriemma became just the fourth women’s basketball coach to reach 1,000 career wins on Dec. 19, 2017. He was the fastest coach to reach the mark, doing so in his 1,135th career game, and owns the best win percentage in the sport (.884).
Auriemma has been named Naismith National Coach of the Year eight times, AP National Coach of the Year nine times, WBCA National Coach of the Year seven times and conference coach of the year 15 times. He has also guided the Huskies to 11 National Championships.
Under Auriemma, 25 Huskies have been selected as WBCA All-Americans for 45 total recognitions while a Husky has been named National Player of the Year 13 times.
He is the first coach in women’s basketball history to guide a team to five consecutive Final Four appearances on two separate occasions and the current run of 12 consecutive Final Fours is also a record.
More on the historic win HERE.
Tagged with: Big East Geno Auriemma UConn