CloseMechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, girls’s faculty basketball, and different faculty sports activities for espnW. Voepel started protecting girls’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.
ALBANY, N.Y. — UConn girls’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma stated Thursday he is aware of whoever replaces Holly Warlick at Tennessee can be going through the issue of very excessive expectations instantly in making an attempt to reside as much as the success of former coach Pat Summitt.
Warlick was relieved of her duties Wednesday after seven seasons.
“I believe in the event that they make the appropriate determination and the appropriate individual will get in that job, it will not take lengthy for them to be again the place they had been,” Auriemma stated of the Woman Vols, an eight-time nationwide championship program that is been eradicated within the NCAA early rounds the final three years. “I do not suppose that is going to be very troublesome in any respect.
“However their fan base is quite a bit like ours. They’re impatient. They need every little thing proper now. There’s not going to be plenty of persistence for whoever the following individual is, so they’ll need to be nice straight away.”
Sure, it was time for Tennessee to half methods together with her. However Holly Warlick took on the burden of following a legend and carried it as finest she might.
After seven seasons as a head coach and a lifetime as a Woman Vol, Holly Warlick is out at Tennessee. Listed here are the highest candidates to succeed her.
Some massive names in excessive locations are on the listing of candidates to exchange Holly Warlick. Who’s your alternative?
UConn and Tennessee had one of many nice rivalries in girls’s basketball from 1995-2007, together with six conferences within the Girls’s Remaining 4. However Summitt canceled the collection after their 2007 regular-season assembly. The colleges are lastly set to satisfy once more with a two-game collection that begins subsequent season.
The date of the primary sport, at Connecticut, is Jan. 23, 2020, which can be throughout “We Again Pat” week. The second sport can be at Tennessee in 2021.
“I believe relying on who the coach is, we could play them 10 extra instances, or we could not play them in any respect,” Auriemma stated. “I am anxious to see who the coach is as a result of it could solely be two years, possibly one.
He added jokingly: “I’ll attempt to get out of it subsequent 12 months.”
In all seriousness, Auriemma stated he felt badly for Warlick, a longtime Tennessee assistant coach who stepped into the head-coaching position in 2012 after Summitt stepped apart due to early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s sort.
“It wasn’t straightforward from Day One to try this job,” Auriemma stated. “After which, , you add the pressures of what is anticipated at a spot like Tennessee. And the truth that everyone else has gotten higher, and it is rather more troublesome to recruit the identical gamers that had been being recruited again then. And also you add all of it up, and it is not straightforward.
“So Holly was in a really troublesome place from the minute she took the job. I really feel horrible for her. Each college is entitled to have their very own coach, clearly, and Tennessee is entitled to have whoever they need as their coach. However … any time a coach is in that state of affairs, I really feel it, as a result of we’re all a part of the identical group. Holly will land on her ft for certain.”
After all, it is inevitable that sometime, UConn can be in the identical place as Tennessee is in now: searching for a coach who can efficiently observe a legend. However Auriemma does not spend a lot time excited about that.
For one factor, he is busy making an attempt to information UConn to a 12th NCAA title — the following step is the regional semifinals towards UCLA on Friday. However past that, he does not suppose there’s a lot good in coaches making an attempt to plan who comes after them.
“I get requested on a regular basis who would the following coach at Connecticut be,” Auriemma stated. “I stated, ‘I actually would don’t have any opinion on that.’ As a result of possibly a bunch of my assistants would need that job, or former assistants. I believe it is arduous for an individual in our state of affairs to say, ‘Effectively, I will hand-pick the following coach.’ I believe anyone who’s tried to try this has actually not executed a very good job of it.”