Lynne Reif And The Hint From Field Hockey

by Categorized: Geno Auriemma, Genos1000th, UConn women's basketball Date:
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.
In Aureimma’s first year (1985-86) he inherited a team that included many veterans, but also welcomed two walk-ons, Lynne Reif and, in 1986-87, Diane Madl.
Reif, who appeared in just eight games that season, will never forget the experience of being there at the start.
“Diane Madl was also a member of the UConn women’s field hockey team, which had just won a National Championship [in 1985].
” We were in the locker room, after a less-than-wonderful practice — and Coach Auriemma was not pleased.
 “He looked around at all of us with that laser-sharp focus. He looked Diane in the eye and pointedly asked,  “Diane… what does it take to win a National Championship?  What does it take to be a national championship team???

“It was clear that we all better listen closely to what she had to say. From the very beginning he had his eye on that prize – he worked at it from the moment his feet landed on the UConn campus.  His focus and determination to take an unknown program with a history of losing seasons, to a National Championship team was his singular, unrelenting mission. He knew where he wanted to take the UConn women’s basketball program  He  was clearly dedicated to seeing it through.”

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