As the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team tries to reach yet another national championship game on Friday, April 5, one person is definitely going to be cheering on the Huskies. That is the wife of long-time UConn women’s basketball coach, Geno Auriemma. Kathy Osler Auriemma, Geno’s wife of four decades, is an interesting woman in her own regard.
1. Kathy and Geno Have Three Children and Two Grandchildren
Kathy is the mother of two daughters; Alyssa (30) and Jenna Stigliano (32), along with a son; Michael (27). Kathy explained that raising their children often caused her to miss many of Geno’s games. Alyssa teaches English at UConn and is a contributor to ESPNW who once publicly criticized Geno on Twitter for comments he made about coaching opportunities for women.
2. Kathy Met Geno Through a Friend
In the late 1970s Kathy was a cheerleader at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Penn. Geno was on the men’s basketball team there. She had confided in a friend that she found Geno attractive and at the next opportunity, the friend brought Kathy to his attention. After the basketball game that evening, Kathy waited for Geno outside the locker room and the pair have been together since. They will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this year.
3. Kathy Grew Up in the Philadelphia Area
Kathy’s mother was a child actress who knew Judy Garland, and raised Kathy in the suburbs of Philadelphia as a single mother after Kathy was born on December 14, 1954. She stayed in the area as a young adult for several years. Her family still resides in the Philadelphia area today. Kathy taught at Our Lady of Holy Souls and a technical school in Philadelphia after graduating college before the couple moved to take Geno’s first – and only – head coaching job at UConn.
4. Kathy is Adamant That Geno’s Family and Work Life are Separate
There are no plaques or trophies from Auriemma’s coaching accolades in the Auriemma home. The family has a strict rule that games are discussed the day of and not for days after. The pair discuss politics, their favorite television shows and cook together.
Speaking about Kathy, Geno says, “I knew right away she was not the needy, clingy type that was going to be looking to you to provide the things people should have on their own. She can handle any situation that comes up and she has to because I am not always there. She is very self-assured, very independent, self-reliant and that helped me achieve what I have in my career.”
5. Kathy Has Appeared on Geno’s Television Show With Him
Geno has a television show on public television in Connecticut and on SNY. Some segments of the show have featured Geno showing off his Italian cooking skills in his own kitchen alongside Kathy. Geno was seven when his family migrated to the United States from Italy.
Whether Geno’s team makes it to another national title game or not, he will have a supportive home to return to after Friday night’s game. That’s mostly because of the devotion of Kathy.