ATLANTA – As his team prepares to open play in the 2016 NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed in the Bridgeport Region, University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma was chosen as one of four finalists for the 2016 Naismith Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year, as announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Wednesday.
On March 4, Auriemma nabbed his third-straight and 13th overall conference Coach of the Year honor after leading his squad to a 29-0 overall record in the regular season. The Huskies finished conference play with a perfect 18-0 record for the third consecutive time, besting league opposition by an average of 45.6 points per game. Connecticut clinched The American’s regular season title outright on Feb. 24 with an 88-41 victory over SMU at Gampel Pavilion before securing an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament by defeating USF, 77-51, to win the American Athletic Conference Championship.
Over the course of 31 seasons at Connecticut, Auriemma was named Coach of the Year in the former Big East a total of 10 times and garnered National Coach of the Year recognition seven times. Auriemma has led the Huskies to a record 10 national championships and owns the record for consecutive Final Four appearances with eight. In total, he has overseen 16 Husky trips to the Final Four.
Auriemma has won a total of six Naismith National Coach of the Year awards with the last coming in the 2008-09 campaign.
Auriemma is joined by Dawn Staley (South Carolina), Scott Rueck (Oregon State) and Muffet McGraw (Notre Dame) on the finalist list. The award will be announced on April 4, 2016.
The Huskies will begin play in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, March 19 at 11 a.m. ET at Gampel Pavilion against NEC Champion Robert Morris.