McGraw, Auriemma have crossed paths for years
TribLIVE Sports Videos
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Muffet McGraw and Geno Auriemma have been crossing paths for a long, long time.
The stakes seem to keep rising, too.
Auriemma arrived at Saint Joseph's as an assistant coach to Jim Foster in 1978, two seasons after McGraw graduated from the school that bills itself as the “Cradle of Coaches.” A year after Auriemma left Saint Joseph's to coach at his alma mater, Bishop Kenrick High School, Foster hired McGraw as his assistant.
“They were both easy hires,” said Foster, the coach at Ohio State the past 11 seasons until he was fired last month.
McGraw and Auriemma will see each other again Sunday in the NCAA semifinals. McGraw is trying to lead Notre Dame (35-1) to its second national title, and Auriemma is trying to help the Huskies (33-4) win their eighth in a rematch of what has become the biggest rivalry in the game.
“I think it is the most heated rivalry in women's basketball, and it's a game that everybody enjoys watching and we enjoy playing,” McGraw said.
McGraw and Auriemma have coached in all 40 games the two schools have played. Auriemma, the coach at UConn since 1985, has a 29-11 advantage, including a 10-1 lead in the Big East tourney. But McGraw, the Irish coach since 1987, holds a 3-0 edge in NCAA Tournament games — all in the Final Four. The Irish also have beaten the Huskies four straight and in seven of the past eight games.
Foster is good friends with both McGraw and Auriemma. He met Auriemma playing intramural basketball outside Philadelphia in the 1970s. Foster was hired as the girls coach at Bishop McDevitt High School and in his second season hired Auriemma as his assistant. When he got the job at Saint Joe's two years later, he brought Auriemma with him.
He met McGraw after being hired as coach at Saint Joseph's.
A photo from the mid-1980s hung in Foster's office, showing him and some former assistants, including McGraw and Auriemma, at a beach. In the photo, Auriemma is wearing a Notre Dame sweatshirt.
“He wasn't a Notre Dame fan; it was a chilly day and he had nothing else to wear,” Foster said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Baseball needs a new schedule
- Steelers remain confident in defense
- Pirates rout Cardinals to keep things interesting in NL Central
- Berry wins Steelers’ punting job; Wing traded to Giants
- State lawmaker proposes increasing cost of fishing licenses
- Pirates notebook: Burnett continues to progress, amps up to 95-pitch simulated game
- Pitt’s Narduzzi revisits YSU roots in opener
- Security guard shot outside East Hills restaurant
- LaBar: Best next opponent for Brock Lesnar
- Megyn Kelly’s forte not Pa. Megan’s
- Pirates reliever Liz new, improved