Connecticut's Geno Auriemma becomes third college basketball coach to reach 1,200 wins

Geno Auriemma entered elite company Wednesday night, earning his 1,200th career win when his Connecticut Huskies beat Seton Hall 67-34 in a Big East women's basketball matchup in Hartford, Connecticut.

The victory makes Auriemma, 69, just the third coach in the history of NCAA college basketball – men's or women's – to reach 1,200 wins and comes exactly one month to the day that another legend, Stanford women's basketball coach Tara VanDerveer, reached the milestone. Two weeks later, VanDerveer would earn win 1,203 to break former Duke and Army coach Mike Krzyzewski's all-time record.

Now, in his 39th season, Auriemma, a 2006 inductee to both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, stands alongside the two titans, though his bona fides have long been established after coaching a long list of All-Americans and leading UConn to a record 11 NCAA women's basketball national championships.

Geno Auriemma coaches the UConn Huskies against the Providence Friars at XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut on Jan 10, 2024.
Geno Auriemma coaches the UConn Huskies against the Providence Friars at XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut on Jan 10, 2024.

"I'm sure if you asked coach when he started and you said, 'Forty years later you'll have 11 national championships, 1,200 wins,' he wouldn't believe it," Diana Taurasi, a three-time All-American and three-time national champion at Connecticut, told CT Insider.

"What he's doing is unheard of and will never happen again," the five-time Olympic gold medalist, continued. "I mean, you'll never find someone that will stay at one place that long. It doesn't happen anymore and it will never be done again."

After hitting the milestone, Auriemma reflected on UConn's journey to becoming a college basketball powerhouse and said he was "proud" of what the program has become.

"We helped make something happen that never existed and no one ever thought it could happen," Auriemma said.

He also suggested his coaching career could be nearing an end, saying he won't be adding hundreds of more wins, but "more along the line of single digits."

"I could probably say, with a great deal of certainty, that I'll never be number one in wins, I don't think that will happen," Auriemma said. "And I'm still going to enjoy my wine and I'm going to sleep good tonight."

Here are some of the biggest accomplishments of Auriemma's career.

Coaches with the most wins in college basketball

Auriemma became the third coach in NCAA basketball history and the second active coach to earn 1,200 wins. Here are the five winningest college basketball coaches across all NCAA divisions, with three coaching women's teams and two coaching men's:

  1. Tara VanDerveer (Women: Stanford, Ohio State, Idaho): 1,206 wins (through Feb. 7)

  2. Mike Krzyzewski (Men: Duke, Army): 1,202 wins

  3. Geno Auriemma (Women: Connecticut): 1,200 wins (through Feb. 7)

  4. Herb Magee (Men: Thomas Jefferson, Division II) 1,144 wins

  5. Pat Summitt (Women: Tennessee) 1,098 wins

*Former Syracuse men's coach Jim Boeheim had 1,116 wins before 101 were vacated by the NCAA. His total now stands at 1,015.

Coaches with the best records in women's college basketball

Auriemma has compiled the best winning percentage in Division I women's basketball history, winning 88% of the games he has coached.

  1. Geno Auriemma (Connecticut): 1,200-160, .882 (through Feb. 7)

  2. Leon Barmore (Lousiana Tech): 576-87, .869

  3. Kim Mulkey (LSU, Baylor): 711-116, .860 (through Feb. 7)

  4. Pat Summitt (Tennessee): 1,098-208, .841

College basketball coaches with the most NCAA national championships

Auriemma has raised more national championship trophies than any other men's or women's basketball coach in NCAA Division I history. When Auriemma led the Huskies to their 11th title – and fourth in a row – in 2016, he broke the longstanding record of UCLA men's coach John Wooden.

  • 1. Geno Auriemma (Connecticut): 11 women's championships

  • 2. John Wooden (UCLA): 10 men's championships

  • 3. Pat Summitt (Tennessee): 8 women's championships

  • 4. Mike Krzyzewski (Duke): 5 men's championships

  • 6. (tie) Kim Mulkey (LSU, Baylor): 4 women's championships

  • 6. (tie) Adolph Rupp (Kentucky): 4 men's championships

College basketball coaches with the most Final Four appearances

Auriemma stands alone when it comes to the Final Four as the only coach to lead a team to the NCAA tournament's final weekend at least 20 times:

  • 1. Geno Auriemma (Connecticut): 22 women's Final Four appearances

  • 2. Pat Summitt (Tennessee): 18 women's Final Four appearances

  • 3. (tie) Mike Krzyzewski (Duke): 13 men's Final Four appearances

  • 3. (tie) Tara VanDerveer (Stanford): 13 women's Final Four appearances

  • 5. John Wooden (UCLA): 12 men's Final Four appearances

  • 6. Dean Smith (North Carolina): 11 men's Final Four appearances

Other major accomplishments by Geno Auriemma

  • Auriemma has been named Naismith National Coach of the Year eight times, AP National Coach of the Year nine times and WBCA National Coach of the Year seven times.

  • Auriemma has coached nine national player of the year winners: Rebecca Lobo (1995), Jennifer Rizzotti (1996), Kara Wolters (1997), Sue Bird (2002), Diana Taurasi (2003-04), Maya Moore (2009, 2011), Tina Charles (2010), Breanna Stewart (2014-16), and Paige Bueckers (2021).

  • Auriemma set an NCAA record with 14 consecutive Final Fours from 2008-22.

Contributing: Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma gets 1,200th career win