UConn’s Geno Auriemma: ‘A funny guy all the time’

About a month and a half ago, the idea was presented to me to do a video on the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team and their tremendous winning streak. The team is the focus of quite a bit of media attention, both local and national. The question that assistant sports editor Mike DiMauro and I had was how to give our viewers something they couldn’t see on ESPN or one of the many local news outlets that cover the team every day. As a journalist from a small paper who was covering the team for the first time, I wasn’t about to get insider access above and beyond what everyone else could. That meant 30 minutes or so of open practice maybe once a week, sidelines and post-game press conferences (credentials don’t allow Web video of game action beyond seven days) and whatever interviews we could arrange.

Mike had the idea to focus his story on coach Geno Auriemma’s sense of humor, and we decided this would be a good focus for the video as well. We were able to speak to his assistants and some current and former players, and through their words were able to paint a decent picture of Auriemma’s personality. Everyone talked about his wit, his sarcasm and his one-liners, and I was left to try to find as many examples as I could over the course of a month. We ended up with over three hours of tape to pare down to the best gems.

This was a project that I could have shot over an entire season, or pulled from a career’s worth of archives. Given the limited amount of material we had to work with, I think we did a decent job.

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