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Geno Auriemma expected to return to sideline on Sunday against Tennessee

Auriemma did not coach against Creighton due to a non-COVID illness.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma is expected to return to the sidelines against Butler on Friday after missing the team’s win over Creighton on Wednesday. The Huskies announced Thursday that Auriemma is “feeling well today”, returned to coaching at practice and intends to coach on Friday.

UPDATE: UConn’s game on Friday against Butler has been canceled due to weather-related travel issues with the Bulldogs.

Just before tip-off, the coach fell ill with a non-COVID illness and chose to stay in the locker room out of an abundance of caution. In his place, associate head coach Chris Dailey took over and improved to 13-0 all-time as acting head coach.

“Right before the game, he just wasn’t feeling well. It’s not COVID related or anything like that but more the abundance of caution, as we say with everything,” Dailey explained postgame.

“I’m not a doctor, so (he was) just not feeling well. Not well enough to come out,” she added when asked what Auriemma was sick with.

Auriemma has missed at least one game in each of the last four seasons. Last year, Dailey took over for UConn’s first two NCAA Tournament games after Auriemma tested positive for COVID-19. In 2019-20, he missed the Huskies’ win over Oklahoma on Dec. 22 while recovering from surgery to alleviate caused by diverticulitis. The season before that, Auriemma missed games at Tulsa and Wichita State due to a minor illness.

UConn will tip-off against Butler on Friday at 7:00 p.m. on SNY.