Geno Auriemma coaches his 1,000th game at UConn on Feb. 22 at Houston. To commemorate the milestone, the Hartford Courant will occasionally publish a memory or remembrance of the Hall of Fame coach from someone who helped play a role in his journey.
Abby Gordon, proud graduate of Cheshire High, spent her UConn college career (2003-07) working with Geno Auriemma’s program as a manager. Being a manager for a perennial national champion is a pretty cool thing. But it does come with myriad responsibilities.
“Coach Auriemma used to enjoy hot tea during practice on cold winter days. He also tended to stick with the same person always going to get it, for the most part. He didn’t really care where it came from as long as it had honey and lemon juice in it, sweetener on the side for him to add, but he would never ask for it before practice started.
“Once there was snow predicted that hadn’t yet started, so I went to ask Coach if I could get his tea before the snow. He said he wasn’t ready for it, waiting until the snow came down before sending me. It snows a lot in Storrs so the repeated treks in the freezing cold day after day start to make you think.
“Finally, one day he asked me if it was snowing yet, and I told him yes, and he asked me to get his tea… At which point I asked for the keys to his BMW. He reached into his pocket and just handed them over, and he told me to get myself a cup, on him. “