Mercury pursuing Auriemma - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Mercury pursuing Auriemma

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Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2005 11:10 am | Updated: 7:54 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

HARTFORD, Conn. - The Mercury are interested in talking with University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma about a WNBA head coaching position, but haven’t made him an offer, a top team official said Monday.

The News-Times of Danbury, the Connecticut Post and The Day of New London reported Monday that Auriemma received an offer over the weekend. All three reports cited anonymous sources.

Mercury general manager Seth Sulka said Auriemma was on the team’s radar, and he expected to talk with him in the coming days.

‘‘I’ll have some conversations with him and kind of feel out where he has some interest or might not have any interest,’’ Sulka said.

Messages seeking comment from Auriemma were left with a University of Connecticut athletic department spokesman. They were not immediately returned.

A move to Phoenix would reunite Auriemma with former UConn star Diana Taurasi, who helped lead the Huskies to a third consecutive NCAA title in 2004. The Mercury made Taurasi the No. 1 pick in the 2004 WNBA draft.

Auriemma has been mentioned for WNBA coaching jobs in the past. In his 20 seasons at UConn, he has tallied a 557-111 record and five national titles. He became the only coach to lead a team to five consecutive Final Four appearances.

Auriemma’s ties to Connecticut remain strong, however. He signed a new five-year, $4.8 million contract with UConn in January that made him the highest-paid women’s basketball coach in the country.

The contract includes a $500,000 buyout clause.

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