AP NEWS

UConn’s Auriemma criticizes Cincinnati’s coach firing

March 22, 2018
Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma gestures during the first half of a second-round game against Quinnipiac in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament in in Storrs, Conn., Monday, March 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

CINCINNATI (AP) — UConn coach Geno Auriemma is taking to social media to defend one of his former star players and assistant coaches fired by Cincinnati.

The Bearcats fired Jamelle Elliott on Wednesday after her nine seasons working to revive their women’s basketball program. The Bearcats went 19-13 last season — their best record in 15 years — and are coming off their first back-to-back winning seasons since 2005-07.

The Bearcats lost to Michigan State in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. They were 113-162 in Elliott’s nine seasons, including another appearance in the WNIT in 2012.

Elliott came to Cincinnati after being a star player at UConn and one of Auriemma’s assistants for 12 years. The two remain close friends.

Auriemma tweeted on a personal account Thursday: “Positively disgraceful that Jamelle Elliott was let go at Cincinnati. Anyone interested in that job would be well advised to do their homework.”

UConn confirmed that the Twitter account belongs to Auriemma. Cincinnati declined to comment on Auriemma’s tweet.

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AP Sports Writer Pat Eaton-Robb in Storrs, Connecticut, contributed to this report.