Legendary UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma is officially sticking around.

The school announced on Tuesday that it had signed the longtime coach to a five-year contract extension worth $18.7 million. His base salary will be $400,000 per year, with additional compensation for speaking, consulting, and media obligations as well as performance-based incentives, per a UConn press release issued Tuesday. 

That additional compensation will start at $2.94 million for the 2024-25 season and increase by $200,000 each year after that.

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Auriemma will enter his 40th season at UConn this fall, having led the program to 11 NCAA championships and 15 Final Fours over the last 16 years. 

His extension also means that he will likely become the all-time winningest coach in Division I basketball history after Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer announced her retirement in April. She retired with 1,216 total wins, while Auriemma sits just three wins behind her with 1,213 career wins. 

"I still find it hard to believe that I've been at UConn for over half my life," Auriemma said. "I feel like there's so much more that can be done, and will be done, and I'm excited to be the one to do it with my staff and my team. I'm probably as excited about these next few years as I've ever been over the last 40."

The Huskies will enter the upcoming season as known contenders, with Paige Bueckers set to return alongside Azzi Fudd and KK Arnold, amongst others. They'll also have Sarah Strong, the No. 1 overall recruit for the class of 2024, alongside the No. 2 recruiting class for that year.

"Geno has been such a mainstay at UConn that it's impossible to overstate his lasting positive influence on our student-athletes, the women's basketball program, and Connecticut as a whole," UConn president Radenka Maric said. "His leadership and nearly 40 years of commitment to our university have brought immeasurable value and name recognition to both UConn and the entire state.

"We know he has even more to demonstrate and teach all of us in the years ahead — not only about leading a world-class basketball program, but also about living a life of conviction, compassion, and service. The university is fortunate to have him continuing in this role, and we look forward to the successes ahead under his strong leadership."

After collecting three losses before the start of conference play this season, no doubt many college basketball fans questioned the state of the UConn dynasty.

But Aaliyah Edwards has been playing high-quality basketball of late, helping the Huskies to prove the doubters wrong. 

“When (Aaliyah) plays the way she’s played these last four, five games, she’s an All-American player,” head coach Geno Auriemma said to CT Insider’s Maggie Vanoni after UConn’s match against Toronto Metropolitan — a homecoming game scheduled specifically for Edwards in her home country.

Edwards relished her Canadian welcome. She mouthed along to “O Canada,” and is proud of the show that she put on north of the border. 

“I hope it leaves a big impact on just women’s basketball in Canada,” Edwards told CT Insider. “I know a lot of people were there to support either myself or of UConn, but I would just encourage anybody just to go watch their local team, just women’s basketball in general…”

The sold-out crowd at Mattamy Athletic Centre exploded into applause for Edwards when her name was called in UConn’s lineup before the match. Her recent play deserves this level of fanfare.

The Huskies’ last five games have been wins for the team. And in those games, Edwards is averaging almost 19 points per game. Against Toronto Metropolitan, UNC, Ball State and Butler, the senior forward put up double-doubles. 

The senior and her high-scoring teammate, Paige Bueckers, have hit their stride for UConn and it’s reflected in the team’s success. The energy is palpable for Auriemma as well. He told Vanoni that he likes the positive energy his team is feeling into the holiday break. 

“I like where we are right now,” he said.

Once again, UConn basketball is navigating major injuries.

This season, though, the Huskies are doing so with Paige Bueckers on the court instead of on the sidelines – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges.

Already UConn is dealing with two season-ending injuries to Azzi Fudd and Jana El Alfy. Ayanna Patterson and Caroline Ducharme also are sidelined.

As a result, Bueckers has been tasked with playing multiple roles. And while she’s the best player UConn has, it’s taking some time for her teammates to adjust both to having her back in the lineup and to her playing new positions.

“We’re not completely there yet on how to seamlessly incorporate all the other people with the way Paige wants to play. And I don’t know when that will be 100% like I like it,” head coach Geno Auriemma said Sunday, as reported by CT Insider. “Right now, we just have to go with what we got and hope that every game we can get more contributions from more people.”

That means better off-ball movement around Bueckers, who runs the offense for UConn.

“We have to find a way to get more people consistently engaged around her,” Auriemma continued. “If she’s not getting enough assists, that means we’re not doing a good job moving without the ball because she would find you if we are, and that’s been a serious problem for this team for quite some time now.”

Through nine games, Auriemma has experimented with six different starting lineups. It’s about the Huskies attempting to “mix and match and find our way,” according to Auriemma. But eventually, he trusts, the team will figure it out.

“We’re all still trying to figure out how to play together as a basketball team and get sort of a chemistry within each other,” Bueckers said. “We’re all just trying to figure out how to be the best in our roles that we can be every single night and stay consistent in that.”

Paige Bueckers struggled in UConn’s 80-68 loss to Texas on Sunday, which head coach Geno Auriemma attributes to being off her game.

Bueckers had just five points before the half and finished the game with 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting. She also had four rebounds, four assists and two blocks. The 35 minutes were the most she’s played since the 2022 national championship game, which UConn lost to South Carolina.

The 2021 National Player of the Year is still progressing after missing all of last season with a torn ACL. And since Azzi Fudd went down in November with a season-ending ACL and meniscal tear in her right knee, Bueckers has taken on an even greater scoring load, which has forced her into taking shots when they aren’t necessarily there.

“I thought she was lousy today. Quite honestly, I thought she was bad, and I told her that,” Auriemma told CT Insider after the Texas game. “You know, Paige isn’t good when she needs seven dribbles to get a shot off. Paige isn’t good when she’s got to, you know, take on guys one-against-two (or) one-against-three going in the lane. You know, forcing things, hoping to get to the free-throw line. That’s not her game. That’s not who she is.”

Fudd’s injury leaves Bueckers as UConn’s biggest weapon from beyond the arc, where she averages a team-high 43.3 percent. She’s also the only player on the team to have attempted more than 82 shots.

Senior forward Aaliyah Edwards has also stepped up in Fudd’s absence, leading the way with 22 points, six rebounds and three assists against Texas. Auriemma knows he’ll need more from Edwards, Bueckers and the rest of UConn’s healthy players as the team battles injuries once again. With three losses so far this season, the Huskies fell to No. 17 in this week’s AP Top 25, their lowest ranking in 30 years.

“​​It’s important that we get other people to contribute more and to feel more confident doing what they’re good at, you know. It’s noticeable on the road, you know, how difficult it is for some of these guys. And, again, there’s no substitute,” Auriemma told CT Insider last week. “It’s not possible to beat good teams unless we get more contributions from other people.”

UConn’s injury woes have continued into this season, and it’s led to the Huskies’ players and coach experiencing déjà vu from years past.

“It just kills me to watch us play sometimes,” head coach Geno Auriemma told reporters after practice on Friday.

Last month, star guard Azzi Fudd went down with an ACL and meniscus tear in her right knee that will sideline her for the rest of the season. Junior guard Caroline Ducharme, meanwhile, remains out with neck spasms, and her timeline for return remains unclear.

“Don’t ask me how long, because I wish I knew,” Auriemma said of Ducharme. “You don’t know when they’re coming and you don’t know how long they’re going to last. We just keep trying and trying and trying. … I feel terrible for the kid.”

Many had thought this year would be different. Paige Bueckers, the 2021 National Player of the Year, is back from the ACL tear that kept her sidelined last season. Fudd, who has dealt with injuries throughout her career, started the season fully healthy. Now, Fudd and Jana El Alfy, who tore her Achilles tendon in July, will both miss the rest of the season. Sophomore forward Ayanna Patterson is also out following an offseason knee surgery.

In their absence, UConn has lost two of their last three games, including an 80-68 defeat to Texas on Sunday. The 4-3 Huskies haven’t lost three games this early in the season since 1980.

“I think they were all anticipating that this year was going to be different, that this year all that was going away and that was all behind us. And the response, I think, has been like a real punch in the gut. Like, ‘I’ve got to do this again,’” Auriemma said. “Me seeing that and me seeing their frustration, and them seeing mine, I think it’s inevitable. You can’t hide it.

“And I probably have not handled it great internally, and probably externally at times, as well. And that’s my job is as an adult, to make sure that I handle it, make sure that I am in complete control of myself and that I’m able to [answer], ‘How do I get each individual through another season?’ Like anybody else you know, I don’t think anybody deserves to be in this situation as many times as we’ve been in it.”

After all the injuries UConn has dealt with in the past few years, senior guard Nika Mühl said Friday that she doesn’t “know any different.”

“I feel like that’s the only cards we’ve been dealt since I’ve been here,” Mühl said. “So overcoming adversity is not something unfamiliar to us.”

No. 2 UCLA beat No. 6 UConn basketball for the first time in the history of the program on Friday night, 78-67 — not for Paige Bueckers’ lack of trying. 

Despite the Huskies receiving their second loss of the season at the Cayman Islands Classic, Bueckers performed exceedingly well. But even with her multiple team-leading outings, UConn has earned its second double-digit loss this season, its most in its first five games since the 1991-92 slate. 

The Huskies’ struggles are best summed up by their head coach Geno Auriemma: “You can’t beat a really good team with one player.”

Bueckers’ 31 points against the Bruins came in at just under half of her squad’s total on the night. The senior guard is a consistent high-scorer, but without Azzi Fudd and Caroline Ducharme in the lineup, UConn is going to need more. 

“It was disappointing that we didn’t get more contributions from more people. Our combinations are all screwed up right now, so that’s got to get sorted out. We struggled, we had our runs, we just didn’t have enough,” Auriemma said. 

Aubrey Griffin went off on a few runs to register a good performance for the Huskies. She clocked 11 points, seven rebounds, four steals and a block. 

“The way Aubrey played for long stretches in that game, that’s how she’s got to start the game,” Auriemma said. “Aubrey needs to do it before we get down 15 points. That’s the issue with some of our players, they just take a long time to get going.”

No other UConn players had notable performances against the Bruins. Even Aaliyah Edwards, the Huskies highest scorer last season, struggled in the Cayman Islands. She went 2-12 before fouling out late in the game. 

“Basically, UCLA defended one player and was content to let anyone else have any shot they wanted and they didn’t make any,” Auriemma said. “… Other people are going to have to step up and have to make shots. We have to find a way to get some sort of cohesiveness on offense, we look disjointed a lot of times. I’ve got to fix that.”

No. 2 UCLA basketball remains undefeated this season, in no small part due to Kiki Rice’s contributions against No. 6 UConn. 

The sophomore guard dropped 24 points en route to her program’s first-ever win against the Huskies. She also grabbed 11 rebounds and eight assists. She led her squad to its fifth win of the season in its toughest match so far, 78-67. 

“We wanted her to come out with an attack mentality,” UCLA head coach Cori Close said to Michael Voepel. “She has put so much work in. She’s just been a rock star for us.” 

Charisma Osborne and Lauren Betts also showed out at  the Cayman Islands Classic with 18 and 13 points, respectively. 

“We really were confident that if we executed the game plan, that we were going to win,” Close said to the Associated Press. “I say that with great respect (for UConn) but I really believe in what this team is building.”

Paige Bueckers had a standout night for the Huskies, leading all scorers with her 31 points — almost half of UConn’s total. But no one else on the team scored more than 11 points. And head coach Geno Auriemma does not believe that is enough to win games. 

“You can’t beat a really good team with one player,” Auriemma said. “It was disappointing that we didn’t get more contributions from more people. Our combinations are all screwed up right now, so that’s got to get sorted out.. We struggled, we had our runs, we just didn’t have enough.”

UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma has dealt with a number of injuries to his squad over the last two years, including the most recent — Azzi Fudd, who is out the remainder of the year with an ACL tear.

The school announced the news on Wednesday, noting that Fudd will have surgery at a later date. Fudd has dealt with injuries over her first two college seasons, including missing two months due to a foot injury in her freshman season and dealing with a number of knee injuries during her sophomore season.

She played just two games before suffering her latest knee injury. In a release, Auriemma said the team is “so upset for Azzi.” And on Thursday, he was at a loss for words over the team’s injury woes.

Caroline Ducharme will miss the team’s Friday game against UCLA with neck spasms. Jana El Alfy is out for the year with an Achilles injury and Ayanna Patterson is still recovering from an offseason knee procedure.

“It just sucks every year to look down and see who’s not playing. It’s just gotten overbearing. I mean, I can’t even explain it,” Auriemma told CT Insider from the Cayman Islanders on Thursday. “Some of these kids, man, that’s all they know. They don’t know anything about playing with a full team.”

There’s currently no timeline for Patterson’s return, and it’s unclear if Ducharme will be able to play on Saturday against Kansas.

“I get to the point where I don’t have words,” Auriemma told CT Insider. “I can’t explain the frustration that you have for them; frustrated for them and how much they want to play, frustrated for your team and their teammates. They’re constantly having to play short-handed.

“And it’s not fair to them. And as a coaching staff, there’s only so many answers you can have. There are times when it gets so hard to see a way out of it. It takes a lot of perseverance from the coaches and the players.”

UConn guard Azzi Fudd was on the sidelines for the eighth-ranked Huskies’ 80-48 win over No. 20 Maryland on Thursday. Head coach Geno Auriemma confirmed that Fudd suffered a non-contact knee injury during practice on Tuesday.

In a team release, UConn said it will provide more information “at a later date” after Fudd undergoes testing. Auriemma, meanwhile, said that Fudd has been dealing with some swelling in her knee, which could delay the testing. The program is holding out hope, he said, that “this one might be minor” after Fudd felt something was off following a shot in practice.

“Just random stuff,” Auriemma said.

The No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2021, Fudd has dealt with injuries throughout her collegiate career. As a freshman, she missed 10 games with a foot injury. Last year as a sophomore, she missed 22 games with right knee injuries.

Prior to stepping on campus, Fudd tore the ACL and MCL in her right knee.

The injury has UConn fans feeling a sense of déjà vu. Paige Bueckers, the 2021 National Player of the Year, missed all of last season with an ACL tear. The year prior, she was sidelined 19 games with a separate knee injury. Forward Ice Brady also missed her freshman year in 2022-23 with a knee injury.

As a team, UConn dealt with unprecedented injuries last season, even forcing them to postpone a conference game in January because they didn’t have seven available players.

“We’ve always handled it really, really, really well,” Auriemma said. “We’ve always been pretty resilient. For us to win 31 games last year, given what we went through, they respond, they don’t pout. They really don’t.

“So when I said, ‘Hey, we’re just going to have to figure this one out — for however long this is, whether it’s today, tomorrow, at least through Saturday, and then we’ll see what happens after that – it changes your rotation, obviously. It changes maybe the way you want to play. It certainly changes your offense.”

Bueckers noted that, while it’s impossible to replace Fudd, the team will have to find a way to make up for her absence.

“Nobody’s going to be Azzi, but we can all do stuff that contributes to filling her void and making sure that we’re accounting for her and doing all the little things,” she said.

No. 2 UConn basketball was upset by an unranked NC State team on Saturday evening, 92-81. The last time the Wolfpack beat the Huskies came in the 1998 Elite Eight.

NC State junior Saniya Rivers stood out as the player of the match, draining 33 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for her squad. Rivers also drew fouls throughout the game, and she shot 10-14 from the free-throw line.

UConn head coach Gino Auriemma told his NC State counterpart Wes Moore that the Wolfpack team is “10 times better than last year,” as CT Insider’s Maggie Vanoni reported after the game.

“Everything they did was better than ours. … They were just on top of their game more than I remember. We got our asses beat plain and simple,” Auriemma said.

The Huskies made a palpable offensive effort, with two of their starters bagging over 20 points — Paige Bueckers dropped 27, while Aaliyah Edwards contributed 21. Bueckers was playing in her second game since her return from an ACL injury.

However, UConn struggled on the defensive end of the court. Four out of five Husky starters were in foul trouble by the end of the game, racking up at least four fouls, with Nika Mühl fouling out.

“We weren’t mature enough to handle it,” Auriemma said of his team.

UConn grabbed 11 fewer rebounds than NC State, with 29 to the Wolfpack’s 41. NC State cashed in on 12 points off rebounds and 12 second-chance points.

“We’ve got a sh— attitude towards rebounding … and that’s got to change,” Auriemma said.

With UConn’s loss to NC State and No. 1 LSU’s season-opening loss to Colorado, the top two teams in the preseason AP Top 25 have lost before the second AP poll for the first time in at least 25 years, according to ESPN.