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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, November 07, 2014

UConn's Auriemma still bitten by the coaching bug

With UConn's Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma set to turn 61 in March, it is inevitable for questions for him to get questions about his coaching future.

The inquiries came Auriemma's way at American Athletic Conference media day and again after today's practice. As is usually the case, there was some outstanding stuff coming from Auriemma.

"I don't (have a timeline), I wish I did but  I really don't," Auriemma said.

"I don't know that there is anything that keeps me up at night wishing I could do but at the same time, I am the kind of person who I always look forward to doing what I am not doing right now. For me, there is a lot of 'what would I like to do next. What don't I know? What to do that I would like to do?'"

Auriemma had found a creative outlet to pursue even if it is on a limited basis.

"I got an app on my iPad of how to play the piano," Auriemma said. "I am sitting in my office fooling around on how to play the piano. It is an obsession of mine, I want to learn how to play the piano. I just want to play a couple of (the late) Danny Federici's notes from the E-Street band. I want to play a couple, the opening, so I can sit in the lobby bar sometime play and have somebody come up and 'do another one. Nah, I just want to (do one), that's it.'

"I don't want to become a concert pianist but there are things like that that I admire in other people. I would love to work on Wall Street, the energy, the edge, it is a different arena but it is still a place where you keep score every day."

Auriemma admitted that the day to day coaching deal gets harder with every passing year.

"You do get further removed from the players, that is a natural thing I think," Auriemma said. "When you have your children and you are 25-30 and then you are 35-40 and they are 20 or 18 and then you are 50 and they are 25 and you get to enjoy them as adults. I never get to enjoy my players (as adults), they are always 18, 19 and 20 and I am not 45 anymore. I think that part of the coaching cycle gets difficult. I didn't miss much with my kids, I wasn't one of these guys who slept in my office. I was around for 90 percent of all the important moments so with these guys, I will probably have a chance to be around even more (for his grandchildren). I don't particularly like standing still, I don't like doing nothing and as long as I am doing something, I am good. It doesn't matter to me what venue, I just like doing stuff especially stuff I don't know anything about and I am not anxious to do anything (different) or go anywhere."

This is Auriemma's 30th season at the helm of the Huskies something that he is kind of stunned by.

"I didn't think I'd be doing it this long, you never know," Auriemma said. "I think time has a way, I have almost felt it is like the ocean, you just kind of get pushed forward and trying to stop is not easy. I can see why so many people are in to for so long because trying to stop, it goes against everything you believe in, everything you have ever done. Coaches that I know that have been doing it for a long time so this is what you know best, this is what you enjoy best but there is going to come a time when I can' really give it what it deserved.

"It is getting hard and I don't think it is getting harder because I am getting older, I think it is getting harder. All the coaches across the country they saw it is getting harder, it is getting harder. I think most of it is players that are coming in from high school, they are no as well prepared to play college basketball so what you are dealing with is the level of expectation that they have and the reality of what they can do and can't do. What happens is kids get in there and they struggle as they are supposed to, then their AAU coach says 'well, you don't know  how to use them.' I think coaches are dealing with the expectations that these kids have and that is takes a while to reach those expectations, everything has to happen quickly or it is somebody's fault and coaching is not a quickly thing "


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