Two championship coaches – ESPN Monday Night Football analyst and Super Bowl XXXVII winner Jon Gruden (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and UConn’s Geno Auriemma, seeking his 10th women’s basketball national title – sat down this afternoon in Tampa, Fla., site of the 2015 Women’s Final Four for a candid interview. Portions of the interview will air on Friday’s 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter, as well as throughout ESPN’s coverage of the Women’s Final Four.
The conversation spanned many topics, including but not limited to: the comparisons between a point guard and quarterback; the pressure Auriemma is under; John Wooden and Auriemma potentially tying his record 10th title; and the type of player Auriemma recruits.
“Getting two championship coaches together to talk about their craft is compelling to our audience,” said Dave Miller, ESPN, senior coordinating producer. “Leadership, preparation, team-building and motivation are all topics we hope to learn more about.”
“I’ve never met Geno but I’m a huge fan of him and what he has accomplished. I’m interested in coaching and what leads to coaching success,” said Gruden, a Tampa-area resident. “He’s been able to dominate and sustain success for a very long time. I’m particularly interested in hearing how he’s been able to adapt through the years. The NCAA has different rules now than they did 20 years ago. The game is different and the kids are different than they were five, 10, 20 years ago. He’s had to adapt to a lot of different things and he’s still at the top of his game. It’s great to have the opportunity to sit and learn some stuff from him.”
Tickets have been punched to the Women’s Final Four from Amalie Arena in Tampa, featuring the four top seeds in the tournament – UConn, Maryland, Notre Dame and South Carolina. The teams will face off on Sunday, April 5, on ESPN and WatchESPN, beginning with South Carolina vs. Notre Dame at 6:30 p.m., followed by Maryland against UConn at 8:30 p.m. Play culminates with the NCAA Women’s National Championship game on Tuesday, April 7, at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and WatchESPN.