ATLANTA — UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma was deemed the 2017 United States Marine Corps/WBCA National Division I Coach of the Year, as announced by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association on Thursday.
Auriemma will be presented with the Pat Summitt Trophy, named for the late legendary University of Tennessee coach and awarded annually to the United States Marine Corps/WBCA National Coach of the Year in each of the WBCA’s six membership divisions, during the 2017 WBCA Convention, which will be held in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Dallas.
“The WBCA is proud to name Geno Auriemma as the 2017 United States Marine Corps/WBCA National NCAA Division I Coach of the Year,” said Danielle Donehew, executive director of the WBCA. “Geno continues to raise the standard of excellence in the coaching profession. He is a teacher of the game, and the development of his student-athletes both on and off the court this season has been remarkable — a masterpiece. Geno is very deserving of the WBCA’s highest praise for the coaching profession, as confirmed by the vote from his respective peers.”
Auriemma guided UConn through another perfect regular season (29-0) and entered the 2017 NCAA tournament riding a 107-game win streak. UConn surpassed its previous NCAA record for consecutive games won after defeating SMU on Jan. 14 to improve to 91-straight victories. The Huskies entered the 2017 NCAA tournament as a No. 1 seed for the 20th time in program history and the 11th season in-a-row.
This marks Auriemma’s second consecutive national coach of the year title — seven in all (2017, 2016, 2009, 2008, 2002, 2000, 1997). In his 32 seasons, he has paced the Huskies to 11 national championship crowns, 17 Women’s Final Four appearances, 45 conference titles and six perfect seasons.
“The Marine Corps proudly recognizes Geno Auriemma for his exemplary leadership and dedication to the young women of the University of Connecticut Huskies,” said Lieutenant Colonel Brian Proctor, assistant chief of staff, diversity, Marine Corps Recruiting Command. “Auriemma demonstrates the core values upheld by those who hold the title Marine. The Marine Corps is honored to celebrate his fighting spirit, determination and excellence both as coach and mentor of the next generation of leaders.”
The NCAA Division I national coach of the year is selected by a committee of coaches. This year’s finalists were:
- Muffet McGraw, University of Notre Dame
- Wes Moore, North Carolina State University
- Robin Pingeton, University of Missouri
- Victor Schaefer, Mississippi State University
- Geno Auriemma, University of Connecticut
- Tonya Cardoza, Temple University
- Douglas Bruno, DePaul University
- Brenda Frese, University of Maryland
- Scott Rueck, Oregon State University
- Tara VanDerveer, Stanford University