ATLANTA (March 23, 2017) — University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma is the 2017 United States Marine Corps/WBCA National Division I Coach of the Year, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced today.
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 coached UConn through another perfect regular season (29-0) — making history along the way. The squad entered the 2017 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship tournament with a national first-place ranking and 107 consecutive wins. UConn set the NCAA Division I record after defeating Southern Methodists University for its 91st consecutive victory in January 2017. The squad averaged 87.5 points and 39.4 rebounds per game.
This marks Auriemma’s second consecutive national coach of the year title — seven in all (2017, 2016, 2009, 2008, 2002, 2000, 1997). In 32 years 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
Visit www.wbca.org/recognize/ to see a list of past recipients.
About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association is the professional association for coaches of women's and girls' basketball at all levels of competition. The WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to the organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. Visit www.WBCA.org for more details about the Association.