Head coach Jim Calhoun officially announces retirement

By Dan Agabiti

The Daily Campus, U. Connecticut via UWIRE

After much speculation and weeks of rumors, the announcement everyone in Storrs was waiting for finally came. Men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun has officially retired.

Immediately prior to a press conference to discuss the future of men’s basketball, Calhoun officially declared retirement via press release from UConn athletics.

“I always said that I would know when it was time, whenever that might be,” Calhoun said in the release.

Calhoun started his time as head coach of the Huskies back in 1986. Prior to coaching UConn, Calhoun had coached for 14 seasons at Northeastern University. When he came to the university, UConn was but a blip on the radar in the world of college basketball.

Fast forward 26 years and UConn is the dominant basketball power in New England, and one of the premier basketball programs in the country. Since the Huskies first won a national championship in 1999, the Huskies have three national championships, including that year’s.

No other school has that many within that span. Duke and the University of North Carolina both have two a piece. The Huskies’ rival, Syracuse only has one.

In his career, Calhoun boasted a record of 873-380. His record makes him sixth on all-time in NCAA history and the only active coaches with more wins than Calhoun are Duke’s Krzyzewski and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim.

Calhoun also brought the Huskies to four Final Fours in his 26 years of coaching.

All that success isn’t too bad for an institution that started as a minuscule regional basketball program. Once in the shadows of UMass, Boston College and even Providence College, the Huskies skyrocketed to what many would consider “the seventh blue blood” basketball program.

When asked what Boeheim thought about Calhoun’s rebuilding job at UConn, he had very high praise for the now-retired head coach. He referred to Calhoun’s tenure with UConn as, “The best building job in college basketball history.”

Boeheim also thinks that Calhoun does not get the praise he deserves from national media. 
“No question in my mind, he’s underrated,” Boeheim said.

With the UConn Huskies, Calhoun won 17 Big East Championships, ten regular season championships and seven conference tournament championships.

The man set to replace Calhoun is assistant coach, Kevin Ollie. Ollie played for the Huskies under Calhoun from 1991-1995, spending his final two years as team captain.

From there, the 39-year old went to the NBA, where he spent 13 seasons in the NBA until he retired in the 2009-2010 season as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Ollie started his time as an assistant coach with the Huskies in the 2010-2011 season and continued through the 2011-2012 season.

“I am very honored and humbled to become the UConn men’s basketball coach,” Ollie said in the release.

It was also revealed that Ollie will be head coach until April 4, 2013 and will be paid $625,000 during that time.

Despite his rough and often-angry appearance, Calhoun will be dearly missed by players.

Right before the press conference, former player Jamal Coombs McDaniel expressed on Twitter how much he would miss Calhoun.

“All good things come to an end,” he tweeted. “[I’m] truly blessed to play under coach Calhoun…learned to compete every day..enjoy your retirement coach!”

Read more here: http://www.dailycampus.com/sports/head-coach-jim-calhoun-officially-announces-retirement-1.2899775#.UFJMcRjOeQw
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