Randy Smith: Congratulations Geno: But Think Again

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

Following UConn’s 93-60 win over Louisville Tuesday night in the NCAA Women’s National Championship Game, Huskies Coach Geno Auriemma was quoted as saying, “The fact that I tied Pat Summitt’s record puts you in the category of the greatest women’s basketball coach who ever lived.” The quote came in a story from Associated Press reporter Doug Feinberg, and if that is truly what Geno said, he may have some explaining to do.

“The fact that I tied Pat Summitt’s record,”(8 NCAA Titles) “puts you,”(Meaning Geno himself) “in the category of the greatest women’s basketball coach who ever lived.” Wow…..that’s like Coach “Bear” Bryant claiming he was the king of college football, when he won his 300th career game, or Coach Pat Summitt herself proclaiming she was the greatest basketball coach of all time when she won her 1000th game. But…Coach Bryant didn’t and neither did Pat.

No one has ever accused Geno of having a lot of class. He is the perfect antithesis of everything that Coach Summitt represents to the people of Tennessee. He is the Darth Vader to Pat’s Luke Skywalker. Geno is the cowboy villain in the black hat, to Pat’s Roy Rogers. It was his comments about some of the athletes that Coach Summitt had recruited at Tennessee a few years back that prompted Pat to proclaim her Lady Vols would not schedule UConn in the regular season anymore. The relationship between the two coaching icons has been very cool since then.

In all fairness to him, I personally believe that, as hard as it may have been for him, he was trying to compliment Coach Summitt. He may have just used the wrong words. What he needs to consider is this; what Pat Summitt did for women’s basketball goes much further than wins or championships. She was the ultimate pioneer and warrior for the game, more responsible than anyone for the increasing popularity of the sport. Geno will likely surpass her record for NCAA Titles. He may even pass her career wins total before he retires, but he will never be to women’s college basketball what Coach Pat Summitt has become.

First of all, he was wrong when he said he tied the record. To my knowledge, Geno Auriemma has never scored a point in a UConn basketball game. His players won the games; he just coached them. Granted, coaches get credit in the wins department and they also are credited with losses. As most successful coaches will tell you, they get too much credit for wins and they take too much heat for losses. Actually, the team his Huskies demolished 93-60 in the championship game did him a huge favor. Louisville upset defending National Champ and top seed Baylor in the “Sweet 16.” That big upset may have saved UConn from an equally whop-sided loss on Tuesday night.

Geno Auriemma obviously doesn’t care about making a lot of friends. He is a great coach and has done a lot of good for womens’ hoops. He just needs to learn a big lesson in humility.


rsmithsports@comcast.net

---

Randy Smith has been covering sports in Tennessee for the last 43 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has continued his broadcasting career as a free-lance play-by-play announcer. He is also an author and is a media concepts teacher at Brainerd High School in Chattanooga. He is also the Head Softball Coach at Brainerd. Randy Smith's career has included a 17-year stint as scoreboard host and pre-game talk show host on the widely regarded "Vol Network". He has also done play by play of more than 500 college football, basketball, baseball and softball games on ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports, CSS and Tennessee Pay Per View telecasts. He was selected as "Tennessee's Best Sports Talk Show Host" in 1998 by the Associated Press. He has won other major awards including, "Best Sports Story" in Tennessee and his "Friday Night Football" shows on WRCB-TV twice won "Best Sports Talk Show In Tennessee" awards. He has also been the host of "Inside Lee University Basketball" on CSS for the past 11 years. He was the first television broadcaster to ever be elected to the "Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame", in 2003. Randy and his wife, Shelia, reside in Hixson. They have two married children (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith). They also have three grandchildren (Coleman, Boone, and DellaMae).


Summit Defends Title At Charger Invitational Wrestling Tournament

The Summit Spartans made school history a year ago when they claimed first place in the Charger Invitational   for their first-ever wrestling tournament championship. The AAA team from Spring Hill proved the first time wasn’t a fluke as they outlasted Red Bank and 19 other teams in the field as they won this year’s tournament at Chattanooga Christian School on Saturday ... (click for more)

Lady Vols Stifle Stanford, 59-40

It was the game Holly Warlick had been looking for out of her team all season long. And it came at the best time for the Lady Vols on Saturday. A complete effort on both ends of the floor led Tennessee to its biggest win over a top-10 opponent in over two years and sent the Lady Vols into the holiday break a winner for the first time in four seasons. "Awesome," Warlick ... (click for more)

2 Suspects Sought In Armed Robbery At Highway 153 Long John Silver's

Police are searching for two suspects in an armed robbery that happened Friday morning. At approximately  8:10  a.m. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 5317 Highway 153 for a robbery at the Long John Silver's.  Officers discovered that two black men, wearing hoodies and masks, entered the Long John Silver's and forced the assistant manager ... (click for more)

Pair Charged With Beating Man With Stick, Taking His Wallet

Two men are charged with beating a man with a large stick while he slept on the steps of a downtown church, then taking his wallet. Jerry Quincy Allen, 45, and James Leo Boas, 40, both of 727 E. 11th St., are charged with aggravated robbery. In the incident on Wednesday, Bradley Casehart said he and a friend were asleep at Tompkin Chapel Church on Palmetto Street. He ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Scrooge’ Of The Year

As we move into the last weekend before Christmas, the “Scrooge of the Year” has just appeared in Aurora, Ill. Actually Connie Ley has just died. She passed away on Nov. 25, but in her wake left the worst will many around the country have ever heard – her last wishes included that her nine-year-old dog should be put to death, cremated, and buried with her. Bela, a beautiful German ... (click for more)