Steve Schuler’s Eagles to meet Geno Auriemma’s Huskies

Steve Schuler took over the Post University women’s basketball program and made one promise to himself.

“I was going to recruit players who had the same goals as I did,” Schuler said. “I wanted to bring in players that knew how to win and knew how to do study and knew how to play basketball.”

Schuler also told his team that he would do everything in his power to increase the profile at the Division II Waterbury-based school.

Post will play two-time defending Division I National champion the University of Connecticut in an exhibition game on Sunday, Nov. 9, at 4:30 p.m. at the XL Center in Hartford.

“This is without a doubt the highlight of my coaching career,” Schuler said. “I would like to thank Coach (Geno) Auriemma and Deb Corum (associate director of athletics) for giving myself and Post University this great opportunity.

“It’s been a long journey,” said Schuler, an All-State player at Foran High who went on to become a two-time NAIA All-American at St. Joseph College in Maine. “To go from where I’ve been to where I’ll be on Nov. 9, is awesome.”

Named to New England Hall of Fame class of 2013, Schuler is excited about the upcoming season.

“I believe you don’t really own a program until all the players are the ones you recruited,” he said.

“Right now, I have one senior on the team who is a holdover. Fortunately, Jacqui Pugh is a player I would have recruited.

“We have four sophomores, a couple of JUCOS (junior college transfers), one Prep schooler and the rest are freshman that all fit our mold.

“The roster of sixteen players has eleven who won state titles. As a team last year, we had a 3.4 GPA. This is where we want to be.”

Among those rostered are state standouts Liz Falcigno, a sophomore out of Mercy High of Middletown, and freshmen Lexus Childs-Harris from New London High and Dominique Woods from East Catholic High.

This marks the second year in a row UConn will play an exhibition against a school from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC), as the Huskies hosted Philadelphia last season.

“I am happy for my players that they will get this chance to play against the number one team and coach in the country,” said Schuler.

“The time and effort I put in to make this happen is well worth the opportunity for my players and Post University.”

In his first season at Post University in 2012-13, Schuler led the Eagles to their first CACC Tournament appearance since 2006-07. In 2013-14, the Eagles missed the CACC Tournament by just one game with a 9-10 conference record.

Prior to Post, in his only season as the head coach of the Albertus Magnus Falcons, he led the squad to a 14-12 record. The mark represented the first winning season in eight years for the program.

As a scholastic coach at Lauralton Hall, Schuler won 71 games in four seasons and was named the 2008 Connecticut Post Coach of the Year.