The University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team has become a dynasty in women’s Division I college basketball. The UConn women’s team has had 38 players go into the WNBA with 14 of these players being selected as All-Stars and four players winning the WNBA MVP Award. Along with incredibly talented players, the coach, Geno Auriemma, has made this team successful. The 2020-2021 basketball season will be Coach Auriemma’s 36th season with the UConn Huskies women.
Coach Auriemma has an impressive record with the team. His coaching style, recruiting and attitude seems to have a positive affect on the Huskies’ program. Under Coach Auriemma, the team has won 11 NCAA Championships, 51 conference championships and six perfect seasons. Overall, with UConn, Coach Auriemma has a 1,091-142 record which gives him a .885 winning percentage. Along with UConn, Coach Auriemma also coaches for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
Coach Auriemma’s outstanding record has made UConn the ideal school for any girl playing basketball. The idea and honor of playing for the dynasty that is the UConn women’s basketball program is something that every young girl imagines for herself. UConn Women’s basketball is absolutely dominant compared to other colleges.
The UConn and University of Tennessee Rivalry
On Tuesday, Coach Auriemma earned his 1,099th career victory which moves him ahead of the late Tennessee coach Pat Summit. Coach Summitt passed away in 2016 while battling early onset dementia. Both Coach Auriemma and Coach Summitt are some of the best college women’s basketball coaches. This created a healthy rivalry between the two coaches throughout their career. This rivalry made Coach Auriemma’s recent career milestone that much more emotional.
Two days after passing Coach Summitt, Coach Auriemma and his squad squared off against the University of Tennessee Lady Vols for the first time since 2007. The Lady Vols are now coached by former player, Kellie Jolly Harper, who is also quite familiar with the rivalry. To honor Coach Summitt, the Tennessee players has “Summitt” on the back of their jerseys and her name was also on the court.
Basketball wise, UConn is ranked third in the polls while the Lady Vols are ranked 25th. Although it seemed like UConn would have an easy game, the Lady Vols stayed with the Huskies all game. Paige Bueckers, the number one recruit for the class of 2020, hit a three in the last minute to seal the game for the Huskies. Bueckers is currently the leading scorer on the Huskies even though she is only a freshman. For the Lady Vols, Rae Burrell lead the way with 18 points and eight rebounds.
The New Era of Rivalry
While this game was quite nostalgic for Coach Auriemma and the women’s basketball fanbase, this may be the start of a new era. The UConn Huskies are only ranked third so far this season but with Coach Auriemma, they could end up winning it all. Thursday night was Coach Auriemma’s 1,100th career victory. Coach Auriemma is also the fastest coach to reach this milestone. The dynasty of UCONN is going to continue even when Coach Auriemma steps down because of the foundation that he has created for the program.
The fastest college coach to 1,100 wins. Ever.
— UConn Women’s Basketball (@UConnWBB) January 22, 2021