Inspirational one-on-one

University of Connecticut Women's Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma knew at a young age that if he wanted to make something happen he had to do it on his own, in his own way.

Even after leading the UConn women's team to seven national championships, including perfect 39-0 title runs this year and in 2009, mental toughness is clearly something Auriemma values on the court and in life.

"You can't inspire people who don't want to be inspired," he said in August when "Inspiring Connecticut" interviewed him in his office at Gampel Pavilion.During the morning interview, Auriemma exhibited his own mental toughness as he pushed back any excitement and exhaustion he might have felt from the night before, when his first grandchild had been born. You can watch Inspiring Connecticut's special interview with Auriemma Oct. X on FOX CT.

When the interview was over, Auriemma relaxed and chatted about one of life's the most inspiring moments - welcoming a new child into the world."It's incredible how life repeats itself," he said. See the entire story Saturday, October 16 at 9 a.m on FOX CT.

Geno Auriemma has redefined the meaning of success in women's college basketball in his 25 years as head coach of the University of Connecticut.

During his illustrious tenure, Auriemma has transformed the UConn program into the standard that all others are measured, both on and off the court.Under his guidance, the Huskies have been transformed from a program with only one winning season, to its current state, which includes seven national titles, 11 Final Fours, four perfect seasons (1995, 2002, 2009, 2010) and 34 BIG EAST titles, all since Auriemma's arrival in 1985.

On the court, his success includes seven national championships, including perfect 39-0 title runs in 2009 and '10, as well as complete dominance in the BIG EAST Conference. Off the court, success means a flawless, 100 percent graduation rate among four year players and one of the most beloved and followed sports teams in the country.

This unmatched success, which is the standard for collegiate programs nationally, was recognized with Auriemma's induction into both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (Springfield, Mass.) and the Women Basketball Hall of Fame (Knoxville, Tenn.) in 2006.In addition, Auriemma was recently bestowed with one of the biggest honors someone in his profession can receive as he was named as the head coach of the U.S. National Team, which will compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

He is the first coach in women's basketball history to guide a team to five consecutive Final Four appearances. Auriemma is a seven-time national coach-of-the-year and has been named the BIG EAST coach-of-the-year nine times. In all Auriemma has garnered a combined total of 24 National Coach of the Year honors.

His 25-year overall record stands at 735-122 (.858), by far the best winning percentage among active Division I coaches and he is the fastest coach overall to eclipse the 700-win mark - taking just 822 games to reach the milestone, which he obtained in 2009-10.The Huskies' consistency has been remarkable as the program has won either the BIG EAST Regular Season or Tournament title in each of the past 17 seasons and 20 of the past 22 overall. Under Auriemma, UConn has captured both the BIG EAST regular season and conference title in the same season 14 times.

The Huskies have won the BIG EAST Tournament crown in five of the past six seasons. Connecticut extended its streak of consecutive NCAA Regional appearances to 17 straight and advanced to the NCAA Final Four for the 11th time in the program's history en route to the program's seventh NCAA National Title in 2010. Auriemma also guided UConn to its 15th 30-win season in 2009-10 and its 15th in the past 17 seasons.

Auriemma's official biography courtesy of UConnHuskies.com

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