Carla Berube's two women's basketball snapshots couldn't be more different: the understated one, a blue-collar role player on UConn's 1995 national championship team which went 35-0; and the more outspoken head coach at Division III power Tufts University.
The one thing that's the same is Carla's success.
Graduating from UConn in 1997 with a degree in sociology, Carla, a fan favorite, finished her career as a forward for the Huskies with 1,381 points and a record of 132-8 with four Big East tournament championships. Carla averaged 10.0 points and 4.9 rebounds per game at UConn, earning a spot on the All-Big East rookie team in 1994 and being selected to the All-Big East second team in 1997.
UConn won the 1995 national championship her sophomore season by defeating Tennessee 70-64 on April 2 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, a season the Huskies first ascended to the No. 1 spot in the national rankings.
“I think one of the most important lessons I learned (from that 1995 team) was that every single player on your team is valuable, whether they're playing 35 minutes a game or not getting into a game,” Carla told the Hartford Courant. “Treating every player with a lot of respect and making them feel as comfortable as possible.”
That philosophy has found its way into Carla's coaching style. Hired at Tufts in 2002, Carla was 272-81 prior to the 2015-16 season, leading the Jumbos to Division III Final Four appearances in 2014 and 2015 and consecutive 30-win seasons.
Carla was named the New England Small College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for the third time in four years and the fifth time overall in 2015 and was honored with the Pat Summitt Trophy as the United States Marine Corps/Women's Basketball Coaches' Association NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year.
The all-time wins leader at Tufts, Carla has led the Jumbos to seven NCAA tournament berths, five Sweet 16 appearances and three trips to the Elite 8. Tufts won NESCAC tournament titles in 2014 and 2015.
Carla, the all-time leading scorer at Oxford High School (2,191 points) prior to her career at UConn – she led the Pirates to back-to-back unbeaten state championship seasons in 1992-93 – lists her mom and dad as having the biggest influence on her career. She calls the 1995 national championship and Tufts' first trip to the Final Four as her fondest memories.
Carla played professionally for the New England Blizzard of the American Basketball League. Residents of Medford, Mass., Carla and Meghan have a 2-year-old son, Parker.