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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, January 17, 2014

UConn's Geno Auriemma keeps religion out of his daily coaching duties

UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma grew up playing basketball in a Catholic school environment and began his coaching career with the boys' basketball program at his alma mater, Bishop Kenrick High School in Norristown, Pa. He also had a stint as an assistant women's basketball coach at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia.

All that being said, Auriemma said that religion is not a subject he views as something he should be addressing with his team on the daily basis when he was asked for his take on the backlash from UConn running backs coach Ernest Jones recent comments that "Jesus Christ will be at the center of our huddle" a comment that brought a quick response from UConn president Susan Herbst who wanted to make it known that endorsing or advocating a particular religious belief is not an acceptable way of doing business for university employees.

"I think that everybody that goes on national television and why did you (win) 'well, thank God,'" Auriemma said, "like God gives a (darn) that you made 18 jump shots. I always have a problem with showing your religion in public and I don't care what religion it is. It is funny because when I was in high school, we prayed before every game and we prayed after every game and that is a part of the school that you are at and it is part of the religious experience of going to Catholic school. I get that, I did that and I was all in favor of that. If I coached at a Catholic high school right now, I would be doing the same thing. But ever since I left high school and ever since I have been a head coach anywhere, I don't pay any mind to that stuff. We don't pray in the locker room, we don't pray in the hotel room, we don't pray during pre-game. If you asked me what religion all of my players are, I would tell you I have no idea because I really don't care. It is none of my business and I try to keep it that way but all the people that have a heart attack because of what was said by our coach and they should do to whatever church and synagogue they go to and pray for forgiveness."

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