A month after expanding into Connecticut with its acquisition of a Hartford bank, Berkshire Hills Bancorp (BHLB) in Pittsfield, Mass., has added one of the state's most famous citizens to its board of directors.

The $4.3 billion-asset Berkshire Hills announced Wednesday that it has appointed University of Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma to the boards of the company and its bank subsidiary, Berkshire Bank. It also said that Auriemma, 58, would become a spokesman for the bank, which has nearly 70 branches in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and Vermont.

Berkshire Hills moved into Connecticut in April when it bought the $283 million-asset Connecticut Bank & Trust and its chief executive, Michael P. Daly, is counting in Auriemma to raise the bank's profile in the state.

Auriemma, who has been the head coach at Connecticut since 1986, is one of the true icons of college basketball. He has been named national coach of the year seven times, is a member of the basketball Hall of Fame and his teams have won six national championships. He is also the head coach of women's Olympic basketball team that will compete in London this summer.

"We are delighted that Geno Auriemma is joining our board of directors," Berkshire's chief executive, Michael P. Daly, said in a news release. "His professional track record is unparalleled and he has a disciplined focus on team building and success factors that will contribute to the further growth and accomplishments of our company."

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