UConn’s Geno Auriemma surpasses longtime Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, now second on all-time NCAA wins list

No. 15 UConn rolled to a dominant 73-53 win over No. 21 Creighton on Monday

Geno Auriemma made more history on Monday.

Auriemma, after No. 15 UConn rolled to a 73-53 win over No. 21 Creighton, officially picked up his 1,203rd career win. That moved him past longtime Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and gave him the second-most wins by a head coach in men’s or women’s Division I basketball history.

Only Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer has won more games in her career. She’s won 1,209 games and counting at Stanford, Idaho and Ohio State.

"I think you're so fixated on winning games, winning the next game. I think earlier in my career, to be honest with you, as things were happening that were very significant, [the wins] impacted me a lot more," Auriemma said after the game. "But maybe the volume of things that have happened ... I just take it in stride. ... you're just so fixated on the things you have to fix, the things you have to correct. I'm sure there'll be a time, this summer or next summer or whatever it is, when you think back and it'll really have a huge impact on you."

Only Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer has won more games than Geno Auriemma, though she's only six wins ahead of him.
Only Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer has won more games than Geno Auriemma, though she's only six wins ahead of him. (Lance King/Getty Images)

Auriemma, 69, is in his 39th season with the Huskies. He first joined UConn in 1985, and he’s spent his entire career there while turning the program into a basketball powerhouse. He’s won 11 national titles, reached the Final Four 22 times and only missed the NCAA tournament three times in his career. Auriemma was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Auriemma picked up his 1,200th career win earlier this month, which made him just one of three coaches in history to hit that milestone. Krzyzewski won 1,202 games before he retired, and he’s still the winningest men’s Division I coach in history. VanDerveer surpassed Krzyzewski last month. VanDerveer and Auriemma are the only active coaches even close to the top. Iowa women’s coach Lisa Bluder and Coastal Carolina men’s coach Cliff Ellis are the closest on each side, but neither has surpassed 900 wins.

Auriemma and VanDerveer will be in a tight race on the wins list throughout the end of their careers, though Auriemma has undoubtedly been more efficient. He’s spent his entire career at one school, hit the 1,200 wins mark quicker than VanDerveer and has lost more than 100 fewer games than she has.

"I'm probably like a lot of our fans. We made it look so easy. It was never easy. But we made it look so easy for so long that you almost forget," Auriemma said. "For me now, it's like going back to the '80s and '90s where you had to play great and you knew that every game that you won was special. I've always said the only thing worse than losing is winning all the time."

With their win on Monday, the Huskies moved to 23-5 on the season. They’ve lost just once in their last seven games, which came in a blowout to top-ranked South Carolina. The Huskies will take on DePaul next on Sunday.