UConn coach Geno Auriemma tests positive for COVID-19

Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday and will be in isolation for the 10 days, the school announced Monday.

Auriemma, who turns 67 on March 23, will miss the Huskies’ opening game against High Point on Sunday in the NCAA Tournament. He would also miss a possible second game two days later.

The Huskies (24-1) were awarded a No. 1 seed when the bracket was revealed on Monday night.

The school said Auriemma hasn’t had close contact with any team member since March 12. It also said that all Tier I personnel — which includes players, coaches and other staffers — have tested negative every day since NCAA Tournament testing protocol began on March 9.

Geno Auriemma
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The school said Auriemma received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine last Wednesday.

“I’m feeling well but disappointed that I will be away from the team for the next several days,” Auriemma said in a news release. “Fortunately, I have a great coaching staff who will lead us during my absence.

“This revelation is a reminder that, while there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we are not on the other side of this pandemic yet. The full effect of vaccines does not occur until 14 days after our last vaccine dose, and for those of us getting two-dose vaccine, that means we’re not in the clear after just one-dose.

“My team and I need to remain vigilant in the areas of mask-wearing and social distancing as we continue this fight against COVID.”

UConn didn’t immediately announce who would handle the head coaching duties in Auriemma’s absence.

Associate coach Chris Dailey has gone 10-0 while filling in on five different occasions for Auriemma. She has been on the Huskies’ staff since arriving with Auriemma in 1985.

Geno Auriemma Could Return For Sweet 16

The team is scheduled to travel to San Antonio, site of the tournament, on Tuesday morning. The school said Auriemma is eligible to rejoin the team on March 24, according to CDC and Connecticut Department of Public Health guidelines.

Director of sports medicine and team physician Deena Casiero said the school reacted quickly upon learning of Auriemma’s positive test.

“After we received notification of the positive test result yesterday, we initiated contact tracing protocols, which included interviewing individual members of the basketball program and in-depth video analysis of practice,” Casiero said in the news release. “Only household close contacts were identified. Given the fact that we have been doing daily testing for the past seven days, we feel confident that we were able to catch this very early on in the disease process. The remainder of Tier I tested negative yesterday and today.”

Connecticut is pursuing its 12th national championship during Auriemma’s 36-season tenure. The Hall of Famer has a record of 1,115-143 and has the second most victories behind Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)