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).


Covenant Women Fall In Overtime To Birmingham Southern

The Covenant women's basketball team rallied from a fourth quarter deficit to force overtime, but visiting Birmingham Southern took over in the extra period for a 70-60 victory over the Scots on Saturday evening inside Barnes PE Center. Emma Grimes led three Covenant (4-2) players in double figure scoring with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Aleigha Williams added 15 ... (click for more)

John Shearer: Watching Some UNC Tar Heel Basketball – Again

Several days ago, I headed over to Chapel Hill, N.C., to watch the University of North Carolina men’s and women’s basketball teams play for the second December in a row.   While I generally pull for the Tar Heel men’s team, they are only about my third or fourth favorite college basketball team. In fact, I actually pulled hard for Indiana, my favorite team along with my ... (click for more)

Tennessee Members Of Congress Urge President To Approve Federal Disaster Assistance For Tennessee Counties

Members of Tennessee’s Congressional delegation on Saturday urged President Obama to quickly approve Governor Haslam’s request for a major disaster declaration for the State of Tennessee to help five Tennessee counties impacted by wildfires and severe weather in November rebuild and recover. “Governor Bill Haslam has submitted a request for Public Assistance and Individual ... (click for more)

Grohn Says Integrity And Ethics Lacking In Berke Administration

Mayoral candidate Larry Grohn criticized controversies and instability coming from the mayor’s administration as a sign of unethical leadership and a lack of integrity. He said, "These scandals lay out the simple fact that it is time for new leadership which is accountable to the people." Councilman Grohn’s criticism comes after the independent auditor’s release of a memorandum ... (click for more)

New School Funding Ideas

After reading the article “County Schools Prepare To Set Priorities For Next Round Of School Building Funding,” I could not help but think about how helpful it would be to have the millions of taxpayer dollars given the owners of Walnut Common apartments to build some new schools.   In case you did not know, since 2008 our elected officials have given away millions in taxpayer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: John Glenn’s ‘Hero’

When John Glenn became the first man to orbit earth, the timing was perfect. I was 13 years old at the time, in need of a hero, and I latched on to the astronaut tighter than a tick. All of us boys knew he’d flown 150 missions in fighters in World War II and Korea and, believe me, he was “The Right Stuff” long before the great movie about the Mercy 7 daredevils came out about 30 ... (click for more)