KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Coaches are dependent on other people
for their success, Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said during his
induction Saturday night into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
"I've been fortunate to work with people that wanted us to be
successful, they wanted us to be national champions and would do
whatever they had to do and give us what we needed to be
successful," he said.
"So I am the recipient of people who wanted me to be good and
have given me the opportunity."
All-Americans Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil of Texas, Janice Lawrence
Braxton of Louisiana Tech and Katrina McClain Johnson of Georgia
also were inducted along with Bentley College coach Barbara Stevens
and former Brazilian Olympian Paula Goncalves da Silva.
Auriemma has spent 21 seasons building UConn into a national
powerhouse, amassing a record of 589-116. Under him, the Huskies
have won five national championships, including three straight from
He holds the NCAA record for consecutive wins with 70.
Auriemma was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in
Springfield, Mass., this year and will be inducted in September.
"If every athletic director in the country cared as much as the
ones that I've had the privilege of working for, there would be a
lot more women's programs that win national championships," he
said. "That's one of our goals as coaches -- to make more athletic
directors care about women's basketball."
Davis-Wrightsil was a freshman when Texas won the 1986 national
championship, capping a 34-0 season. She was a national player of
the year as a senior and won a bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics.
Braxton helped Louisiana Tech to a 130-6 record between 1980 and
1984 and national titles in 1981 and 1982. She won a gold medal in
the 1984 Olympics and played professionally for 15 years in Italy
and two with the WNBA's Cleveland Rockers.
Johnson was the 1987 national player of the year and a
three-time Olympian. Georgia went 116-15 during her career and was
the national runner-up in 1985.
Stevens is the winningest women's coach in Division II history
with a record of 711-193. She became the coach at Bentley, in
Waltham, Mass., in 1986 after coaching at Clark University and
Da Silva, known as "Magic Paula" in Brazil, played on her
country's national team for 22 years. She won a gold medal in the
1994 World Championships and a silver medal in the 1996 Olympics.
The ceremony included a tribute to former LSU coach Sue Gunter,
a Hall of Fame member who died last August.
Earlier in the day, the inductees and members of the Women's
Basketball Coaches Association framed a Habitat for Humanity house
dedicated to Gunter. The house frame will be moved to Baton Rouge,
La., for final construction.