It was a day of milestones in women's college basketball on Tuesday, as two Division I coaches recorded their 1,000th career victories.
UConn's Geno Auriemma achieved the mark with his No. 1 Huskies' 88-64 victory over Oklahoma in Uncasville, Connecticut. Earlier in the day, North Carolina's Sylvia Hatchell got there when her Tar Heels beat Grambling State 79-63 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Auriemma and Hatchell joined the late Pat Summitt of Tennessee (1,098 wins) and Stanford's Tara VanDerveer (1,018) on the women's side, and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (1,082) on the men's side, as Division I basketball coaches with at least 1,000 wins.
Rutgers women's coach C. Vivian Stringer is at 988 victories and also could reach 1,000 this season. Her Scarlet Knights are currently 12-2.
"It's a number that's significant because so few people have been able to do that," Auriemma said. "You feel incredibly fortunate that you're one of a very, very select few and some of the great coaches that ever have coached."
Sitting by Auriemma's side for the 1,000 wins has been associate head coach Chris Dailey, who has been with Auriemma since he took over at UConn in 1985. Dailey led the Huskies to seven of those victories while filling in as head coach. Auriemma was suspended for four games in 1989 for playing an extra game that season. That year, the Huskies won their first Big East tournament title with Dailey at the helm.
"If you look back and you think about the significant accomplishments, not just in sports, but it's always done in pairs,'' Auriemma said. "Our best teams have been dominated by two people. I don't think anything this difficult can be accomplished by one person. I don't think so. My title makes me responsible, me the recipient of all this. There's no way that we'd be having this conversation if I had hired somebody different.''
Auriemma's record is now 1,000-135; his .881 winning percentage is the best in Division I women's basketball history. That has all been with UConn, a program that Auriemma, 63, took over in 1985 when it previously had just one winning season. Under Auriemma, the Huskies have won 11 NCAA titles and advanced to the Women's Final Four 18 times, including the past 10 years in a row.
The Huskies have had six perfect seasons (1995, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2015). Auriemma also led the U.S. women's national team to Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016.
He is the fastest Division I coach, in men's or women's hoops, to reach 1,000 wins; the milestone came in his 33rd season at UConn. In fact, Auriemma could have lost Tuesday's game and 49 more in a row after that and still been the fastest to 1,000. UConn has not lost back-to-back games since 1993.
The Huskies' NCAA-record 111-game winning streak was snapped in the national semifinals in March by Mississippi State. The Huskies also have the second- and third-longest winning streaks at 91 games and 70 games.
Hatchell's record is now 1,000-376, with 728 of those victories coming at North Carolina and 272 at Francis Marion. She won an NCAA title with North Carolina in 1994, and she earned AIAW and NAIA titles with Francis Marion in 1982 and 1986, respectively. Hatchell is in her 32nd season at North Carolina and 43rd season overall.
Hatchell also has been to the Women's Final Four two other times (2006, 2007) and has won eight ACC tournament titles.
Auriemma and Hatchell have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.