April 7, 2009
ATLANTA, Ga. - University of Connecticut head basketball coach Geno Auriemma has been named winner of the 2009 Naismith Women's College Coach of the Year award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Monday in Atlanta, Ga.
In the 23-year history of the Naismith Coach of the Year Award, Auriemma has now claims six (1995, 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2008) honors, and has won more than any other coach. He was previously tied with the University of Tennessee's Pat Summitt with five.
Auriemma was selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's board of selectors, a collection of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, based on his coaching performance this season. The Naismith Award, presented annually to the top women's college coach, is the most prestigious national award in college basketball.
Other finalists included Sherri Coale (University of Oklahoma), Nell Fortner (Auburn University) and Aaron Johnston (South Dakota State).
In his 24th season at the helm, Auriemma has led the Huskies to a 38-0 record, registering UConn's fourth consecutive 30-win season and the program's 14th in the last 16 seasons. He was named BIG EAST Coach of the Year for the eighth time while guiding Connecticut to both the BIG EAST regular season (17th overall) and BIG EAST Tournament (15th overall) titles, the 13th time in the program's history both have occurred in the same season.
With the current tournament run, Auriemma has now posted 70 NCAA Tournament wins in his career - one behind Mike Krzyewski (71) for the second-most all-time in NCAA history (men's and women's). Auriemma has a career mark of 695-122 at the school.
"It's been a remarkable season for Connecticut and a continuation of the strong foundation that Geno has built throughout his career," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "He is a tremendous ambassador of the game of college basketball and a deservingNaismith Award winner."
In 1987, Indiana's Bob Knight and Summitt became the first men's and women's college coaches, respectively, to win the award. Summitt has gone on to win four more awards (1989, 1994, 1998 and 2004).
The Huskies will face Louisville in Tuesday night's 2009 Women's Basketball National Championship at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.