New York – University of Connecticut head men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie and head women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma were honored as recipients of the 2014 Winged Foot Award on Tuesday evening at the New York Athletic Club in New York. The Winged Foot Award honors the national champion men’s and women’s basketball coaches. Auriemma received the award for the eighth time while Ollie earned his first.
The men’s basketball Winged Foot Award was instituted in 1996 while the women’s award began in 1999.
Approximately 450 guests attended Wednesday evening’s dinner and awards ceremony in Manhattan, which was emceed by longtime college basketball television analyst Billy Packer and included comments from Auriemma, Ollie, former UConn men’s basketball coaches Dee Rowe and Jim Calhoun and former men’s basketball standout Donny Marshall.
Auriemma led UConn to its ninth national championship in 2013-14 and took home the championship hardware in undefeated fashion for the fifth time. UConn finished the year 40-0 and defeated Notre Dame, 79-58, in the national title game in Nashville. Auriemma sports an 879-133 record in 29 years as head coach in Storrs.
Ollie led the Huskies to a 32-8 record en route to their fourth national championship this past season. The Winged Foot honor is the fourth for a UConn head coach, marking the most won by any men’s basketball program. Ollie is 52-18 after completing his second year as head coach.
About the New York Athletic Club
The New York Athletic Club was founded in 1868 by Henry Buermeyer, John Babcock and William Curtis. All were accomplished athletes with a singular commitment to the growth and development of amateur sport in the United States. Furthermore, they possessed the foresight to realize that the time was right to introduce some organization – and uniformity of measurement – into sporting endeavors across the country, if not around the world. So, on September 8th of that year, Buermeyer, Curtis and Babcock, with 11 other similarly inclined sportsmen, gathered in a Manhattan tavern known as the Knickerbocker Cottage for the first meeting of what would become the NYAC. Though all were men of vision, none could have foreseen the impact their club would have on the world of amateur and Olympic sport.
It is impossible to detail the entire accomplishments – both sporting and commercial – of the New York Athletic Club and its members. Suffice it to say that the Club holds a unique place in the sporting pantheon, a position it bolsters with each passing year.
Forty NYAC athletes competed at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. These athletes continued a tradition that began over 140 years ago, a tradition illustrating all that can be accomplished by individuals of ability, vision and commitment, individuals who comprise the cornerstone of the New York Athletic Club.
NYAC members have won 119 Olympic gold medals, 53 silver medals and 59 bronze medals.