March 23, 2009
STORRS, Conn. -
The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) has selected Connecticut's Geno Auriemma as the 2009 RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Coach of the Year. This year marks the 27th year that this accolade has been presented, which has been selected by the WBCA since 1983.
This is Auriemma's third RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA National Coach of the Year honor as he received the award in 2002 and again last season. He is the only Division I head coach that has collected the award back-to-back years.
"On behalf of the WBCA, I would like to congratulate Geno Auriemma for an outstanding job this season, and we would like to honor your efforts with this award," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "He is among the elite in the coaching profession and very deserving of this award."
Auriemma, current WBCA Vice President, recently received his eighth BIG EAST Coach of the Year honor after leading his top-ranked Huskies to a 33-0 ledger; the only undefeated team in NCAA Division I. It marked the fifth time Auriemma coached his team to an undefeated record regular season play. This season UConn captured its 17th overall regular season title and 15th overall BIG EAST Tournament crown, marking the 13th time Auriemma has led his squad to both titles in the same season.
In 24 years in Storrs, Auriemma boasts an 85 percent winning percentage, the nation's best, with a career ledger of 690-122. The Huskies, who have claimed three of the last seven NCAA titles (a total of five in the program's history), their last coming in 2004, are making their 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and boast a 65-15 (.813) mark all-time in NCAA play.
The Huskies, who have been ranked No. 1 in both national polls the entire season, received an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, marking the second consecutive and the 15th in the program's history.
Connecticut has advanced to the Final Four nine times in the program's history, including six of the last nine seasons overall. The Huskies have advanced to the regional round of the NCAA Tournament in each of the past 15 seasons (1994-present). During nine of the last 15 NCAA Tournaments (since 1994), the Huskies have either won the national championship or have lost to the eventual national champion.
"Russell Athletic is proud to honor Geno Auriemma as the winner of the WBCA's Division I Coach of the Year Award. Geno embodies the true values of a dedicated and successful coach," said Catherine Gammon, Sr. Director of Sponsorships, Russell Athletic.
Auriemma is one of six RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA National Coaches of the Year selected, which also names winners for each of the other four WBCA collegiate divisions (NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and JC/CC) as well as High School. The winner is selected through a two-level process. The first level is by region, in which coaches from each WBCA geographical region vote for their respective top coach. Auriemma, having received the most votes in WBCA Region 1, advanced as a finalist to the national level of the selection process along with the other seven Regional Coaches of the Year in NCAA Division I.
The WBCA would also like to recognize the following regional Division I Coaches of the Year:
Region Coach University
2 Sue Semrau Florida State University
3 Nell Fortner Auburn University
4 Curt Miller Bowling Green State University
5 Sherri Coale University of Oklahoma
6 Jim Foster Ohio State University
7 Elaine Elliott University of Utah
8 Tara VanDerveer Stanford University
Auriemma and the national winners from the other five divisions will be honored at the RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA National Coach of the Year Luncheon on Monday, April 6, 2009, at 1 p.m. CT in the Hyatt Regency St. Louis Riverfront Grand Ballroom. The luncheon is part of the WBCA National Convention, held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women's Final Four® in St. Louis, Mo.