Geno Auriemma criticizes Cincinnati for firing coach Jamelle Elliott, a former player of his

CINCINNATI -- UConn coach Geno Auriemma took to social media to defend one of his former star players and assistant coaches fired by Cincinnati.

The Bearcats fired coach Jamelle Elliott on Wednesday after she spent nine seasons working to revive their women's basketball program. The Bearcats went 19-13 last season -- their best record in 15 years -- and are coming off their first back-to-back winning seasons since 2005-07.

The Bearcats lost to Michigan State in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament. They were 113-162 in Elliott's nine seasons, including another appearance in the WNIT in 2012.

Elliott came to Cincinnati after being a star player at UConn and one of Auriemma's assistants for 12 years. The two remain close friends.

Auriemma tweeted on a personal account Thursday:

In a subsequent tweet, Auriemma referred to Elliott as "one hell of a coach" and "one of the finest human beings in our profession."

UConn confirmed that the Twitter account belongs to Auriemma. Cincinnati declined to comment on Auriemma's tweet.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.