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Updated: April 20, 2020 / 2020 Power 50

17: Geno Auriemma

Photo | Contributed
UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma

Many people know Geno Auriemma as the UConn women’s basketball coach, but he’s also an entrepreneur having opened several restaurants and established a line of wines and homemade sauces, all ingrained with a touch of his Italian heritage.

But it’s his personal brand and success on the court that has made him an economic powerhouse in the state. He and former men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun not only raised the profile of UConn’s basketball programs but the university itself. Since Auriemma started coaching the women’s team in the mid-1980s, UConn went from a strong state college, to a nationally recognized research university. If you don’t think the success of UConn basketball had anything to do with that you’re just plain naive. College sports are a big business and the publicity UConn has received from Auriemma’s success is priceless.

The Hall of Fame coach has led his team to 11 national championships, lifting UConn and women’s basketball to new heights.

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