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UConn's Auriemma signs new contract

 
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STORRS, Conn. (AP)

Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma has signed a new $10.86 million contract, a deal designed to keep him at the school through the 2017-18 season, UConn announced Wednesday.

The 59-year-old Hall of Famer, who has coached at UConn since 1985, will make $1.95 million in salary, speaking fees and media fees in the next year. That will gradually increase to $2.4 million in the final year of the five-year contract.

The move comes about three months after the school signed first-year men's coach, Kevin Ollie, to a five-year deal worth just under $7 million.

''This is just a unique place and a unique situation,'' Auriemma said. ''I'm fortunate that I'm here and that I've been here at the perfect time and the perfect place.''

Auriemma also can earn a variety of bonuses based on the success of his program. He would get a half-month's salary each time he wins a conference regular-season or tournament title; another month's salary for making the NCAA tournament, a month's salary each time he makes the regional semifinals and the Final Four and two-months' salary for a national title.

Auriemma has led the Huskies to seven national championships and 13 Final Fours, including the last five. UConn has won 37 Big East regular-season or tournament championships under Auriemma.

''As I have said before, UConn has been great, is great, and will be great in the future and Geno Auriemma is a big reason for that,'' UConn athletic director Warde Manuel said

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Connecticut will play in a vastly different looking conference next year in a league filled with non-traditional opponents including Temple, Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, SMU and Tulane.

''We helped raise the level of the Big East to a national level, so we don't think about what could have been or where we are going next,'' Auriemma said. Our goal is to win championships and whether it's the Big East or any conference we're in, that's not going to change.''

The Huskies (31-4) play Maryland in Saturday's Bridgeport Region semifinal, the 20th consecutive year the Huskies have made it to the final 16.

The contract takes effect April 15, after this year's tournament.

''Geno Auriemma has developed the University of Connecticut women's basketball team into one of the most beloved college athletic programs in the country in any sport,'' UConn President Susan Herbst said. ''I am very pleased that he has signed a new contract, which shows his strong commitment and belief to our university and its division of athletics. It is people like Geno who have helped make UConn a strong and vibrant university, one which will continue to grow and excel even more in the future.''

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