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Geno: In Pursuit of Perfection Hardcover – January 3, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (January 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446577642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446577649
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 9.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #518,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If nothing else, Auriemma, coach of the UConn women's basketball team since 1985, explains how little girls in Connecticut inherited the dreams of little boys in Indiana. The rise of a program with a leaky gym and roll-away bleachers to become a powerhouse with five national championships is a Hoosier-like tale. But Auriemma's book is merely the bones of the story, a slapdash chronicle of seasons. In his talky style, he is unable to flesh out the characters, and his anecdotes are stiff. One exception is his depiction of star Diana Taurasi cracking during a challenging season: "sitting on a bench, swaying back and forth and banging her elbows against the wall.... She is in withdrawal, like some kind of drug addict." On Auriemma's team, breakdowns are a good sign because they mean hunger. He prods individuals by saying things like "You suck" and "You are never going to make it." Auriemma's caustic style has earned him many critics, and his autobiography is more about self-defense than reflection. Nonetheless, it gives readers a chance to eavesdrop on the strategy of a hall-of-famer who chased perfection to the top. Auriemma's book will leave readers wishing he had told his story better—written his heart out, even. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Auriemma is one of the most successful college basketball coaches in the history of the sport, yet he is never mentioned in the same sentence as Dean Smith or Mike Krzyzewski. The reason? Auriemma coaches women's basketball at the University of Connecticut. In this revealing autobiography, written with the help of Boston Globe reporter MacMullan, Auriemma tells a version of the classic immigrant's journey. His parents immigrated to the U.S. from Italy when he was seven. He was the new kid, the kid who talked funny, and the poor kid. He has been catching up ever since. Like all successful coaches, he drives his players very hard, but unlike many--see Delsohn and Heisler's Bob Knight, reviewed on this page--he seems to be universally admired by his former players. He manages to convey his investment in his players' growth as human beings, not just as basketball players. In addition to telling his own story, Auriemma reflects insightfully on the growth of women's basketball. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

This book kept me engrossed and involved from start to finish.
Warone's Kidd
Auriemma's co-writer creates a style that makes Geno come across as a good guy who tries hard - a real rags to riches, Horatio Alger story.
Dr. Cathy Goodwin
I think anyone who is a basketball fan, especially a women's basketball fan, should read this book.
sunnydeefan3

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It's rare these days -- I just couldn't stop reading. Auriemma's co-writer creates a style that makes Geno come across as a good guy who tries hard - a real rags to riches, Horatio Alger story.

As a basketball fan, I loved the glimpses into life at UConn and the stories beyond some legendary playeres. In particular, I liked Diana Taurasi's introduction and the brief mentions of her background and style. She's a fascinating person as well as a great player, adding charisma he way Lisa Leslie once did.

Geno tells the truth, too. After UConn, many players faced a letdown. I watched Taurasi play against Seattle next year, as a member of the Arizona team. She tried hard but was obviously frustrated being a top player on a mid-level team.

Ironically, there are many parallels between Taurasi and Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee's star, who would have graduated just before Taurasi went to UConn. Both began their WNBA careers as Number 1 draft picks on low-ranked teams. And both complained about being so famous. Tough, said both coaches.

I also liked Geno's report of recruiting,a coach's toughest job, he says.

A few times I flipped pages while Geno pontificated and philosophized. Most mostly I loved it...and despite a long and growing "To Do" list, I kept reading.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book in one day because I was excited to see what Geno would say about his life and career. I for one am a big fan of Geno, his career, his coaching methods, and how he has helped his players in life and in basketball. I have to admit that this book isn't written as well as it could be (some memories are somewhat fragmented and it sometimes gets confusing as he jumps from one story to another) but I still really liked it and learned a lot from it.

To all those people who think Geno is a jerk, read this book with an open mind and reconsider that idea. To those people that have read the book and still hate him, all I have to say is that you must have not been reading very closely because you missed the entire point of the book. Geno repeatedly makes statements about how he doesn't take himself seriously, and about why he acts how he acts because of how his life has gone, and he provides many instances where he had made mistakes that he has regretted and apologized for. He may be confident, but confident doesn't equal cocky. He is just a normal person that happens to be doing his job in the public eye, being observed by millions of people. Sure, he may have faults, but so does everyone, and that's what makes this book interesting. The fact that many people who call him a jerk are big fans of Pat Summit is another interesting point, which is addressed somewhat in the book. I am a fan of both coaches, and I was interested to hear about the Auriemma-Summit relationship from another point of view. I personally think Geno covers the subject well and also speaks highly of Summit much more than he criticizes her.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Erin Esposito on March 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Luigi "Geno" Auriemma has written an extremely heartfelt biography chronicling his life experiences, especially the years he has been coaching UConn's womens basketball team. This is one of those biographies you don't want to miss out on!

Geno is a straight shooter and one heck of a honest man. His genuine display of his emotions and thoughts throughout the book are a testament to his character. His loyalty to his wife, family, colleagues, players and fans is incredible!

The stories behind how he recruited Diana Taurasi and others are very enjoyable to read, as are the countless other stories he recalls over the years. "Geno" is an excellent book for anyone to read - you don't need to be a huge sports enthusiast (although I reckon it might make a slight difference) as this is a story of an Italian boy from Norristown who made it big through his strong work ethics and values.

Molto Grazie, Geno! You rock!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christine Buck on April 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a terrific book! Geno is the type of person you want to have watch over your daughters when they are so far from home. It is a book about life's lessons and reality, with terrific basketball stories thrown in. I could not put it down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ann Allyn Slessman on November 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
GENO
In Pursuit of Perfection
Geno Auriemma
With Jackie MacMullan
Grand Central Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-446-694773
$16.99 - Paperback
352 pages
Reviewer: Annie Slessman

I was a cheerleader in my younger days and loved the game of basketball. I remember seeing the famous "Red Heads" play and thinking how great it would be to be them. Then I saw their coach throw a tantrum and thought maybe not....

In the book, GENO, In Pursuit of Perfection by Geno Auriemma with Jackie MacMullan, Geno explains his theories of coaching a championship woman's basketball team with the same determination he seems to utilize in his coaching. He believes you must push to get the best out of people. And, obviously, he must have something there as his University of Connecticut's women's basketball team has had a number of perfect seasons.

It is hard to believe this man has a problem believing he is good enough to be coaching this quality of player. But in this work, he explains that he never feels his best is good enough. Not that the man doesn't have confidence, he does. He just constantly strives to be better than the best.

As he trips down memory lane and gives a brief bio on his former players, you see another Geno. You experience a man who has started from the bottom, fought his way to the top and knows what he is talking about when he tells players, "you can be better."

So if you want to read a work about basketball, the elements of being a great coach or simply want to read something that involves the human elements required to climb that mountain of ambition, this work will provide you with some excellent insight and maybe some good advice along the way.
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