Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, September 06, 2013

NBA A-lister a big supporter of UConn's Geno Auriemma

I've spoken to so many different big shots in the basketball world about UConn Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma in the last decade and a half and today came the opportunity for me to get the take of Naismith Hall of Famer and former Phoenix Suns owner Jerry Colangelo's thoughts on what makes Auriemma the type of coach that he wanted to coach not one but a pair of U.S. Olympic squads.

After the press conference announcing that Auriemma would be coaching the U.S. in the 2016 Olympics, I asked Colangelo the USA Baskertball chairman, what impressed him the most about Auriemma's on the court work during the run to the 2012 gold medal. 

"He has a presence and it is a winning presence," Colangelo said. "He always seems to be in control of the situation and there is a comfort level having somebody like that leading the charge. You need to have a coach that the players are going to respect. How does that come about? It comes about because of a track record, because of some relationships, his ability to communicate. When I say he was the best candidate, there is no question about that."

Although Auriemma had publicly stated he wasn't interested in spending another four years as the U.S. Senior Women's National Team coach, Colangelo believed that Auriemma would say yes if offered the gig again.

"My feeling was he would," Colangelo said. "Sometimes you just know instinctively that would probably be his answer."

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