ATLANTA (March 23, 2016) – Geno Auriemma, head coach at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut, is the recipient of the Pat Summitt Trophy presented to the 2016 United States Marine Corps/WBCA NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today. This marks the 34th year since 1983 that the WBCA has presented this honor to a NCAA Division I head coach. It is Auriemma’s sixth WBCA NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year honor.
"The WBCA is proud to name Geno Auriemma as the 2016 United States Marine Corps/WBCA NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year," said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. "Geno is finishing another remarkable season, as displayed by the excellence of his student-athletes. He was chosen by the vote from his respective peers and is very deserving of the WBCA’s highest praise for the coaching profession.
"Beyond his wins on the court, just a few years ago, Geno served as President of the WBCA, in order to give back to the coaching profession. Geno also was instrumental in helping fund the launch of the WBCA's Center for Coaching Excellence, a program designed to support and teach women's basketball coaches the business side of the sport. Our women’s basketball family applauds Geno for this recent award and shares our gratitude for his continued investment into our game."
Auriemma, currently in his 31st season at Connecticut, has guided the top-ranked Huskies to an unblemished 34-0 record. He has guided the Huskies to their 21st 30-win season. He has led UConn to their eighth undefeated regular season and the Huskies are on a 71-game winning streak, the second longest in team and NCAA Division I women’s history. UConn went undefeated in conference play during the regular season, accomplishing the feat for the 12th time in program history. The Huskies also secured the conference tournament title for the 21st time, beating the University of South Florida 77-51.
Auriemma was selected for the third straight year as the American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, earning his 13th overall conference Coach of the Year honor. Auriemma is also a finalist for the 2016 Naismith Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year, which he has previously won six times.
During his 31 years at the helm, Auriemma has accumulated a 951-134 record (.876), which is the best winning percentage in the history of the sport as well as accumulating 10 national championships. Auriemma also owns the record for consecutive Final Four appearances with eight.
The Huskies head to their 24th Sweet Sixteen appearance in the NCAA Division I Tournament where they will face Mississippi State on March 26.
"The Marine Corps continues to enjoy our long and successful partnership with the WBCA. For us, one of the major highlights of the relationship is to annually recognize the organization's outstanding coaches," said Lieutenant Colonel Brian Proctor, Assistant Chief of Staff Diversity, Marine Corps Recruiting Command. "Each of these fine individuals, chosen by their peers to receive this well-deserved honor, exemplifies the Marine Corps leadership values of honor, courage and commitment."
The United States Marine Corps and the WBCA present the Pat Summitt Trophy, named for the legendary University of Tennessee coach, to the United States Marine Corps/WBCA National Coach of the Year annually in each of the six WBCA membership divisions (NCAA Divisions I, II and III; NAIA; junior/community college and high school).
The national coach of the year is selected from a list of finalists composed of the regional coaches of the year, who are chosen by vote of their peers in their respective WBCA membership regions, and were announced earlier this week via social media. They are:
- Region 1 – David Magarity, United States Military Academy
- Region 1 – Muffet McGraw, University of Notre Dame
- Region 2 – Amanda Butler, University of Florida
- Region 2 – Dawn Staley, University of South Carolina
- Region 3 – Geno Auriemma, University of Connecticut
- Region 3 – Kim Mulkey, Baylor University
- Region 4 – Doug Bruno, DePaul University
- Region 4 – Brenda Frese, University of Maryland
- Region 5 – Cori Close, UCLA
- Region 5 – Charli Turner Thorne, Arizona State University
About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game in all of its aspects as a sport for women and girls. For more information about the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.