UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma has signed an extension through the 2024-25 season, the school announced on Friday. A five-year deal retroactive to the 2020-21 season, it also includes two, one-year mutual options at the end of it.
“Geno Auriemma has meant so much to the University of Connecticut, and to our entire state, for the last 36 years,” UConn athletic director David Benedict said in a release. “The program that Geno has built is the gold standard in college athletics and I’m thrilled that he will continue to lead it for the foreseeable future.”
Auriemma’s base salary will be $600,000 per year along with additional compensation for speaking, consulting and media obligations that paid him $2.2 million in 2020-21 and will increase by $100,000 each year throughout the deal.
According to the Hartford Courant, Auriemma also has performance bonuses tied into his contract. He can also take a job in the athletic department for up to five years for $500,000 if he steps away from his current position in good standing. If he declines, he’ll get an extra $1 million. The Courant also reported his buyout starts at $5 million before decreasing by $500,000 in each successive year.
“I would like to thank David Benedict and the University of Connecticut leadership for their continued commitment to me and the women’s basketball program,” Auriemma said. “UConn has been great to me for the last 36 years and I look forward to being here for at least a few more years (emphasis added). I think the future for our program, and UConn Athletics, is exciting.”
Auriemma has amassed 1,119-144 as UConn’s head coach since 1985, second-most in the history of the sport. He’s also guided the Huskies to 11 national championships — tied with UCLA for most of any men’s or women’s Division I basketball program — and 53 conference championships.
Though Auriemma is now 67 and has missed games due to health issues each of the last three seasons, this extension — along with his own words — signals his desire to stay on the sidelines. In recent years, the coach hasn’t given a firm answer as to when he plans to retire, though he’s mentioned he’ll stop once he can no longer get the players he wants to come to UConn.
Considering the Huskies have just one open roster spot for the 2021-22 season, that time doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon.