It was 1995. Before people knew that Storrs was the name of a village in northeast Connecticut. Before the Huskies hated the Tennessee orange like Los Angeles hates the Celtic green. Before women’s basketball began to spread into national sports consciousness. That year, a National Championship was at stake for Geno Auriemma’s UConn squad led by Rebecca Lobo.
When sophomore Carla Berube put in two free throws to secure the 70-64 victory against the Lady Vols for the program’s first-ever title and perfect 35-0 record, UConn sparked a meteoric rise in the sport for the next decade.
Little did Auriemma know that Berube would compile her 200th win as the head coach of Division III Tufts this past January in fewer games than it took him.
With her 11th season at the helm of Tufts behind her, Berube has come full circle. While UConn just won their eighth National Championship, she was named an NCAA Division III Regional Coach of the Year after guiding the Jumbos to their best season yet with a 25-3 record and a trip to the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year. Berube, who holds a career record of 212-75 at Tufts, paces the Division III sidelines with a Division I mindset, getting the best of both worlds.
“I didn’t think I’d become a coach. Not at all,” laughed Berube, who scored 1,381 points in her collegiate career to lead UConn to a 132-8 record. “I was pretty shy and reserved growing up and in college.”
After graduation she played two seasons in the American Basketball League (ABL) for the New England Blizzard. After the league folded shortly thereafter as the WNBA was created, Berube moved to Southern California to volunteer coaching at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
“I was missing basketball, and I fell in love with coaching. I decided to hopefully make it my living,” she said. (READ MORE.)