You bet I’m rooting for the UConn women’s basketball team Friday night, when they play Notre Dame in the NCAA semifinals. In my lifetime, the success of the women’s basketball program at Connecticut has become one of the great stories in sports.
Coach Geno Auriemma has built a program that in many cases placed Connecticut on the sports map. And to continue to dominate the sport for more than two decades is remarkable. UConn may not win the National Championship every year, it just seems that way. Eleven national titles, 12 straight trips to the Final Four and Connecticut seems to make it look easy, but it is anything but.
The players’ success is the result, not only of talent and great coaching, but hard work. As far as I’m concerned, this nearly three-decade dominance by UConn ranks right up there with other dominant teams in sports history be it the Yankees, Patriots, Packers, Celtics, Canadiens or UCLA.
But Geno is the leader, the pacesetter, the majordomo. He is not afraid to put his neck on the line, whether it be for his team or to give an opinion. His latest cause is exhibit A, suggesting that coaches just might be afraid of their players. Read what he has to say. He’s right on.
Meanwhile, my TV will be right on Friday night, ready to root, root, root for Geno and the Huskies.