Auriemma suits up for leadership conference

University of Connecticut basketball coach Geno Auriemma will take his leadership skills from the gymnasium to the boardroom during a new leadership conference launching next year at the Mohegan Sun that is intended to provide insights into real-world business issues.

"I have been working with the UConn School of Business to develop a conference that brings together provocative thinkers from different fields to share their perspectives and provide insight into some of the challenges business leaders face today," Auriemma said in a statement.

Auriemma and UConn President Susan Herbst, along with School of Business faculty, staff and students as well as corporate partners including Walmart, announced the initiative at a press conference in Storrs.

The first Geno Auriemma-UConn Leadership Conference will be held April 29-30 at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center.

Bill Simon, Walmart's president and chief executive and a graduate of UConn, will help kick off the conference with a keynote address.

Other sponsors include Virtus Investment Partners, Aetna, The Hartford Courant, Fox CT, Hartford Magazine, WTIC-AM 1080, WTIC-FM 96.5 and Lite 100.5 WRCH. The UConn Alumni Association plans support as well.

"This program will give us a terrific opportunity to connect our talented pool of business school faculty, the wide-ranging knowledge of our UConn alumni, and some of the topmost leaders from across varied industries and communities," UConn President Herbst said in a statement.

Among Auriemma's many accomplishments as UConn women's basketball coach are his team's seven national titles, four perfect seasons, a record 90-game winning streak and a 100 percent graduation rate among four-year players. He has been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame while also guiding the 2012 women's Olympic basketball team to a gold medal and launching several businesses, including Geno's Fast Break restaurant at the Mohegan Sun.

Lucy Gilson, associate professor of management at UConn, will serve as academic director of the leadership conference.

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