Geno at ‘Summitt’ with new deal
Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2008 3:03 pm
By: By PAT EATON-ROBB, Associated Press Writer
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Geno Auriemma has signed a contract that would keep the Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach on Connecticut’s sideline through 2013, the university announced Wednesday.
The five-year, $8 million deal begins July 1 and includes a base salary of $300,000 in the first year. That amount will increase by $25,000 annually throughout the contract.
Auriemma, who has led the Huskies to five national titles, will receive $1.1 million in addition to his base salary for speaking and media appearances in the contract’s first year.
It will increase by $75,000 annually throughout the contract.
Auriemma also will get bonuses for NCAA Tournament appearances, Final Four appearances and any additional national titles.
Auriemma, who was paid about $1.25 million this season under his current deal, would make about $1.8 million in the new contract’s final year.
“We believe that Geno Auriemma is the finest women’s basketball coach in the country,” UConn Athletic Director Jeff Hathaway said in a news release Wednesday.
“He has brought great pride and honor to our institution for over two decades. Geno’s teams have achieved greatness on the court while also serving as some of the finest ambassadors in the history of the university.”
The deal, first reported by The Hartford Courant on Wednesday afternoon, surpasses one signed by Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt in 2006. Her deal, which runs through the 2011-12 season, includes $1.5 million in her contract’s final year.
“The people of Connecticut have been very supportive of our program for over 20 years now,” Auriemma said. “This new contract is a direct reflection of the university’s commitment to me and the commitment that my family and I have to the university.”
Auriemma is heading into his 24th season as Connecticut’s coach.
He has a record of 657-122, and led the Huskies to national titles in 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Auriemma was named The Associated Press women’s college basketball coach of the year for the fifth time as UConn went 36-2 in the 2007-08 season, which ended with a loss to Stanford in the national semifinals. It was the Huskies’ ninth trip to the Final Four.
Auriemma also has led the Huskies to 16 Big East regular season titles and 14 conference tournament championships.