Geno Auriemma has played a significant role in changing the face of women’s college basketball over his first 28 seasons as the head coach at UConn. His impact will continue for at least another five years.
UConn announced Wednesday that Auriemma has signed a new five-year contract with the school that will run through the 2017-18 season. He will earn $10,860,000 over the length of the deal as the highest paid coach in the sport.
“I would like to thank President Susan Herbst, Director of Athletics Warde Manuel and the entire University of Connecticut community for their continuing commitment to me and my family,’’ Auriemma said in a statement. “The last 28 years at Connecticut have been amazing and I am even more energized by what the future holds for our women’s basketball program and our athletic department as a whole.’’
Auriemma, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006, is a combined 835-133 (.863) heading into Saturday’s match-up against Maryland in the NCAA Bridgeport regional semifinals at Webster Bank Arena. He has guided the Huskies to seven national championships and 13 Final Four appearances. Both accomplishments rank second all-time.
The Huskies have reached the Sweet 16 in 20 straight seasons, the nation’s longest active streak, and in 21 of 25 NCAA tournament appearances overall. UConn has also won 19 Big East regular season championships and 18 conference tournament championships.
Auriemma, who will be 64 at the conclusion of the contract, is the sixth winningest coach in women’s college basketball history and is ranked second all-time in winning percentage.
“Geno Auriemma has developed the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team into one of the most beloved college athletic programs in the country in any sport,’’ Herbst said. “I am very pleased that he has signed a new contract, which shows his strong commitment and belief to our University and its Division of Athletics. It is people like Geno who have helped make UConn a strong and vibrant university, one which will continue to grow and excel even more in the future.’’
Auriemma, a six-time Naismith National Coach of the Year honoree, will receive a base salary of $400,000 for each year of the contract, which annually runs from April 15 to April 14. He will receive $1,550,000 for institutional speaking engagements and media related appearances for a total of $1,950,000 in 2013-14. The payment for institutional speaking engagements will increase by $110,000 each year, except in the final year when it will increase by $120,000.
Auriemma’s total compensation for each year of the contract will be: $1,950,000 (2013-14); $2,060,000 (2014-15); $2,170,000 (2015-16); $2,280,000 (2016-17); $2,400,000 (2017-18).
He will receive the following payments for postseason performance, with the exact figures determined by his base salary: a half-month for winning a conference regular season championship; a half-month for winning a conference tournament championship; one month for participating in the NCAA tournament; one month for participating in the NCAA Sweet 16; one month for participating in the NCAA Final Four; and two months for winning the NCAA national championship. Auriemma also will receive a half-month for winning a national Coach of the Year award and one-quarter month for winning a conference Coach of the Year award. Should he win both, he will receive one payment of half a month.
If Auriemma resigns or retires from the University in good standing following the completion of the new contract in 2017-18, he will be entitled to a payment of $1,000,000 or an appointment at the University for up to five years at a salary of $300,000 with duties as determined by the Director of Athletics.
“As I have said before, UConn has been great, is great, and will be great in the future and Geno Auriemma is a big reason for that,’’ Manuel said. “Geno has developed student-athletes that have shown excellence on the court, in the classroom and in the community. His beliefs and values go hand-in-hand with what we all believe our Division of Athletics should strive for in the future.’’
NOTE: No General Fund (state tax dollars) or tuition monies are used to provide any of the resources for this contract. The Division of Athletics at the University of Connecticut is an Auxiliary Service Fund entity and the sources of revenue include: gate receipts, private fundraising, corporate partnerships, television/radio rights, Big East Conference revenues and NCAA revenues.