Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

April 6, 2013

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: McGraw, Auriemma meet again

The two legendary coaches have crossed paths for many years

SOUTH BEND — Muffet McGraw and Geno Auriemma have been crossing paths for a long, long time.

The stakes seem to keep rising, too.

Auriemma arrived at Saint Joseph’s as an assistant coach to Jim Foster in 1978, two seasons after McGraw graduated from the school that bills itself as the “Cradle of Coaches.” A year after Auriemma left Saint Joseph’s to coach at his alma mater, Bishop Kenrick High School, Foster hired McGraw as his assistant.

“They were both easy hires,” said Foster, the coach at Ohio State the past 11 seasons until he was fired last month.

McGraw and Auriemma will see each other again Sunday in the NCAA semifinals. McGraw is trying to lead Notre Dame (35-1) to its second national title and Auriemma is trying to help the Huskies (33-4) win their eighth in a rematch of what has become the biggest rivalry in the game.

“I think it is the most heated rivalry in women’s basketball and it’s a game that everybody enjoys watching, and we enjoy playing,” McGraw said.

McGraw and Auriemma have coached in all 40 games the two schools have played. Auriemma, the coach at Connecticut since 1985, has a 29-11 advantage in wins, including a 10-1 lead in Big East tournament games. But McGraw, the Notre Dame coach since 1987, holds a 3-0 advantage in NCAA tournament games — all in the national semifinals. The Irish have also beaten the Huskies four straight and in seven of the past eight games.

Foster is good friends with both McGraw and Auriemma. He met Auriemma playing intramural basketball at Montgomery Community College outside Philadelphia in the 1970s. Foster was hired as the girls coach at Bishop McDevitt High School, and in his second season hired Auriemma as his assistant. When he got the job at Saint Joseph’s two years later, he brought Auriemma with him.

He met McGraw after becoming the coach at Saint Joseph’s and interviewed her when he had an opening.

“I liked the energy she had and the passion she had for Saint Joe’s,” he said.

A photo from the mid-1980s hung in Foster’s office, showing him and some former assistants, including McGraw and Auriemma, at a beach on a cold summer day.

They spent two days together talking basketball. In the photo, by the way, Auriemma is wearing a Notre Dame sweatshirt.

“He wasn’t a Notre Dame fan, it was a chilly day and he had nothing else to wear,” Foster said. “Irony of ironies, X number of years later they’re at this stage.”

Anyone who knows McGraw knows how competitive she is. Auriemma noted it as he talked about golfing with McGraw.

“She gets all fired up about driving the ball further than me — which is a big deal when you’re teeing off 50 yards in front of me,” he said. “That goes to show you how competitive Muffet is. She’s incredibly competitive.”

They haven’t golfed together in years, however, and while the relationship between them is cordial, they are not good friends. Both say the game Sunday is much more about the teams than the coaches.

“She doesn’t have to prove anything to me and I don’t have to prove anything to her,” Auriemma said.

McGraw said she never looks at it as a one-on-one battle with another coach, but concedes some victories are more satisfying than others. She pointed to finally beating Tennessee and Pat Summitt in an NCAA regional championship game two years ago, when the Irish were 0-20 all-time against the Volunteers and McGraw was 0-16.

“It feels great to beat a program of that stature. When we beat UConn, I feel the same way. I don’t feel like I beat Geno. I feel like my team beat his team,” McGraw said.

Foster, though, believes it is a bit of a factor for any coach.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Colts Camp Football [GOSHEN NEWS] NFL: Colts lose 2nd starter with season-ending injury ANDERSON — The injuries are already piling up in Indianapolis.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nadal Withdraws Tennis [GOSHEN NEWS] TENNIS: Nadal withdraws from two tournaments Rafael Nadal withdrew Wednesday from U.S. Open tuneups in Toronto and Cincinnati because of a right wrist injury, putting in doubt his status for a title defense at the year's last Grand Slam tournament.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NFL: Colts look for second-year LB to take big step forward ANDERSON — Big Bjoern has certainly made his presence felt during the first week of training camp for the Indianapolis Colts. Bjoern Werner -- the 6-foot-3, 257-pound second-year outside linebacker for the Colts -- is being counted on to big a major force on the Indianapolis defense this season.

    July 30, 2014

  • Bridgestone Invitational Golf-3 [GOSHEN NEWS] GOLF: Woods hopeful for more good memories at the Firestone AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods finds out over the next two weeks if his season is over or just getting started.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NCAA Concussion Lawsuit-9 [THE GOSHEN NEWS] NCAA settles head-injury lawsuit via fund CHICAGO — The NCAA agreed Tuesday to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, soccer and

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Offense adapting to new arsenal ANDERSON — Dwayne Allen didn’t often recognize the Indianapolis Colts offense he was watching from the sideline last season.The third-year tight end suffered a season-opening hip injury in Week 1 against the Oakland Raiders, then watched as left guar

    July 30, 2014

  • Running back Rainey is released ANDERSON — Just days after earning praise for his playmaking ability from head coach Chuck Pagano, running back Chris Rainey was waived by the Indianapolis Colts on Monday morning.The news was broken in a press release around 8:30 a.m. and later conf

    July 30, 2014

  • SPT GN140730 Kulp Former Jimtown coach Brent Kulp named GHS softball coach GOSHEN — When you find your calling in life you follow it, even if it means going back to a previous career. Brent Kulp understands this lesson.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Big Ten Media Days Football [Duplicate] Playoffs could create chances for Big Ten teams CHICAGO — As he watched the BCS championship game last season, Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook could not help but wonder: What if a playoff system were in place? Would the Spartans be playing for the biggest prize? No need to wonder anymore. T

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Poll

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results