For the past 30 years, under Head Coach Geno Auriemma, the UConn Women’s Basketball program has been a force to be reckoned with.
Before Auriemma became head coach in 1985, the UConn Women had only one winning season over the course of a decade under Head Coaches Sandra Hamm (1974-75), Wanda Flora (1975-80), and Jean Balthasar (1980-85). Auriemma transformed the UConn Women’s program from the inside out—and helped lead his team to seventeen final fours, 6 perfect seasons (’95, ’02, ’09, ’10, ’14, ’16), a record-breaking 90-game winning streak, and 43 Conference Titles.
After their win against Syracuse University (82-51), the UConn Women clinched their fourth consecutive NCAA win while Auriemma soared to the top with a total of 11 NCAA Championship wins (the most wins for any NCAA coach, ever.) Plus, UConn’s star senior Breanna Stewart is the only NCAA player to win four championships in a row. Perfection at its finest.
“What those 11 championships mean to me is how many great players I’ve had the opportunity to coach. How many great people have come through the program. It doesn’t matter whose name is above, or whose name I’m under. As long as I have those players in my memory, I’m good,”Auriemma commented after their win.
The success that Auriemma and the UConn Huskies hold is unmatchable and undeniable. Auriemma has been inducted into both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (Springfield, Mass) and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (Knoxville, Tenn). Auriemma is the first NCAA coach to lead his team to nine consecutive final four appearances and to five consecutive final four appearances, twice. He has been named National Coach of the Year eight times and Conference Coach of the Year thirteen times.
Over 31 years, Auriemma’s record is 955-134 (.877%), which is the highest and greatest percentage record in the history of women’s basketball. Most of Auriemma’s all-star players have gone on to play professionally—either overseas or in the WNBA.
At any given moment, there is an unprecedented amount of pressure on this team—but that weight just fuels their fire to do better and be better. The UConn Women’s basketball program under Auriemma has proved time and time again that they are the greatest team in the NCAA.