I don't hire good coaches, I hire good people. If they turn out to be good coaches, too, that's a plus.
Fair or unfair, at Connecticut it's not good enough just to win. There's a perception that if we don't go to the Final Four, it's a bad season. I just want the players to understand that the one constant in our program is that we want to make sure we play hard and have fun.
Your philosophy in basketball will get you to a certain point. After that, you need individuals to take you to the next step.
I'm a hardass, but we wouldn't have had all the accomplishments we have as a basketball program if that's all I was. Players would have stopped listening to me, and I would have been run out of coaching if that's all I was. So I think we win because I am, because I demand sometimes more than they can give. But I don't know what that is until I find out you can't give it.
Coach Wooden got the absolute best players in America every year. We get the best players in America every year. That's what everybody thinks. The things we fall back on are, I'm sure, the same things that every successful coach falls back on, is that every day we try to live up to that potential.
On the NCAA Tournament
What those 11 national championships mean to me is how many great players I've had the opportunity to coach, how many great people have come through our program.
This time of year, it's the individual player that makes the difference. The things you do as a program get you to this point. Then individuals decide the outcome of the games.
At this time of year, everything is about confidence—about your ability to make the play that needs to be made at the time it needs to be made.
Pressure is when somebody asks you to do something you can't do. To me, that's pressure.
We've won a lot of national championships and we've never taken any of them for granted. Every one is special.
From Geno's Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech:
If I can be part of a team the rest of my life, then I'm going to be a lucky guy. I've tried to do that all of my life—be part of a team. And I was fortunate enough to work with people that allow me to do what I love to do—and that is teach and coach.
I've never lost sight of the fact that it is just a game—it is a bunch of people trying to get together to accomplish something that individually you can't do by yourself.
As a head coach you're probably only as good as your players and your assistants.
All I ever wanted from anything—this game, friends, acquaintances—was respect for how I do things and how I represent my family, my school, my program. And this is the ultimate sign of respect, and I want to thank all of you that made it possible.
“With the absence of pressure, it’s hard to do great things.”Coach Geno Auriemma