Obama welcomes NCAA coaches to White House

President Obama and Vice President Biden greeted six NCAA basketball coaches Wednesday at the White House as part of a partnership between USA Basketball and the Pentagon.

The president welcomed the University of Connecticut’s pair of national championship-winning coaches, Kevin Ollie, who heads the men's team, and longtime women's coach Geno Auriemma. Other basketball coaches at the brief Oval Office meeting were Syracuse University's Jim Boeheim, Villanova University's Jay Wright, University of Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon, Texas Tech University's Tubby Smith and Michigan State University's Tom Izzo.

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According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, chief of staff Denis McDonough showed the coaches through the executive residence and West Wing, including stops in the Situation Room and Rose Garden.

"Getting into the back of the White House and seeing that was amazing," Boeheim told the newspaper. "Just seeing the organization, the manpower and the precision by which things are run — it's a mind-boggling operation. It's really something."

According to Boeheim's wife, Juli, Obama joked that Auriemma must be "getting tired of this place." The Connecticut women have won the national championship four times during Obama's presidency.

Obama also quipped that, "All Biden wants is to see Boeheim." The vice president is a graduate of Syracuse’s law school and a fan of the long-tenured basketball coach.

After the brief meeting, Obama departed the White House to survey damage from recent tornadoes in Arkansas and head California for a Democratic fundraiser. The coaches, meanwhile, went to the Pentagon for a leadership summit moderated by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.