UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma has had many titles attached to his name: Hall of Fame coach, restaurateur, author. Now, add bank director.
Auriemma, 58, was named Wednesday to the board of directors of Massachusetts' Berkshire Hills Bancorp, which recently entered the Connecticut market through its $30 million acquisition of former Connecticut Bank and Trust Co. in Hartford.
In addition to his board role, Auriemma will also be Berkshire's Connecticut pitchman in ads and promotions, giving the bank one of the most recognizable names and faces in the Connecticut sports world.
Bank officials say they tapped Auriemma for his skills in "team building, organizational management and communication."
"His professional track record is unparalleled and he has a disciplined focus on team building and success factors that will contribute to the further growth and accomplishments of our company," Berkshire President and CEO Michael P. Daly said in a statement. "He understands the opportunities and challenges facing our industry, and brings important perspectives on the greater Connecticut region and on the regional and national forces affecting our markets."
Auriemma has been head coach of the UConn women's basketball team since 1986. He is a seven-time national coach-of-the-year and has won or shared the Big East coach-of-the-year award eight times.
He has also served as president of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.
His business experience comes from the several restaurants he owns, including Geno's Fast Break at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, and the soon to be opened restaurant location at Storrs Center, near the University of Connecticut's flagship campus.