NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Geno Auriemma, Tara VanDerveer, Muffet McGraw and Brenda Frese have all won national championships, using their own styles to get the most out of their teams.
Now, they all hope they can coax two more victories to win another title.
"These four are the gold standard for coaches," Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves said. "They are different in personality, but have the common ground of success."
Both Auriemma and VanDerveer are enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. The pair, as well as McGraw, have also been inducted into the women's basketball Hall of Fame. All four have been honored as the AP Coach of the Year.
This year's Final Four is one of the rare times that all four coaches have won national championships.
Auriemma leads the way with eight titles and can break a tie with Pat Summitt for most if the Huskies can repeat as champions. Despite winning 44 straight games by mostly astronomical margins, Auriemma never lets his Huskies get too full of themselves.
"It's hard for us to get cocky when you have a coach like him who kind of lets you know your weaknesses and makes sure you work on them all the time," UConn senior guard Bria Hartley said. "He's not going to let a day go by where you act cocky. He makes sure you really stay kind of hungry and wanting to get better rather than getting complacent."
VanDerveer takes a more cerebral approach with her team. She's won two national championships, been to the Final Four in six of the past seven years and won the 900th game of her career early this season.
"Tara teaches you how to watch film, to make sure you pay attention to details," South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. "To be disciplined in what you're doing. She taught me how to do that."
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