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    Geno Auriemma Named Russell Athletic/WBCA Division I National Coach of the Year

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      Geno Auriemma Named Russell Athletic/WBCA Division I National Coach of the Year
    Auriemma earns WBCA national honor for fourth time in career

    STORRS, Conn. (March 24, 2008) - University of Connecticut women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma has been named as the recipient of the 2008 Russell/WBCA Division I National Coach of the Year, which was announced by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Monday afternoon.   This marks the fourth time Auriemma has been recognized by his peers as the National Coach of the Year.  Auriemma was previously selected following the 1996-97, 1999-00 and 2001-02 seasons.   During his 23-year head coaching tenure, Auriemma has now garnered a combined total of 15 national coach of the year honors.   “I am honored to present this award to a very worthy candidate in Geno,” said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. “He exemplifies what coaching is all about. On behalf of the WBCA, I congratulate Geno for an amazing job.”   Auriemma was also named as 2008 BIG EAST Co-Coach of the Year, after leading Connecticut to a 33-1 mark, entering Tuesday’s NCAA second round tilt with Texas.   Under Auriemma’s direction, the Huskies have already clinched the 13th 30-win season in the program’s history, all coming since Auriemma took over the reigns in 1985-86.   Despite losing two starters to injury, UConn collected both the conference regular season and tournament titles for the 12th time in the program’s history and the first time since 2002.   Auriemma has amassed a career mark of 654-121 and stands as the first coach in history to guide a team to five consecutive NCAA Final Four appearances and is the fastest coach to reach the 600-career win mark.   Under Auriemma’s guidance, the Huskies have collected five national championships, been to eight Final Fours and tallied a total of 30 BIG EAST titles with regular season and tournament championships combined.   The No. 1 seed Huskies (Greensboro Region) continue their NCAA Tournament run on Tuesday night when they meet No. 8 seed Texas (22-12) in Bridgeport at approximately 9:30 p.m. (ET).