Editorial: ‘Jim Calhoun Way’ perfect to honor a Husky legend
Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 23:09
Last Sunday, former coach for the UConn men’s basketball team, Jim Calhoun was honored at the “Heart Of A Champion: A Tribute To Jim Calhoun” gala that recognized his many achievements over his 26-year career at UConn. At the event, Stadium Road was renamed Jim Calhoun Way in his honor; Calhoun is the fourth person UConn has ever named a road after. The renaming of the road to celebrate the former coach is a perfect way to draw attention to his achievements at the university and how his transformation of the men’s college basketball team over a 20-year period has brought prestige and honor to the University of Connecticut.
Since retiring over a year ago, Jim Calhoun has remained a steady presence in the UConn community, still attending basketball games and maintaining a position as Special Assistant to the Director of Athletics according to the UConn athletics website. His continued appearances and mentions are a reminder of the prestige he brought to the university during his career. During his time here, he took home three national championships (in 1999, 2004, and 2011) and seven Big East tournament championships (in 1990, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2011). UConn men’s basketball also played in four Final Fours during his tenure. Consider also the state of UConn men’s basketball before he began coaching here in 1986: in only two seasons since the inception of the program in 1901 did the team bring home 23 wins. During Calhoun’s time here, the winning average was 24 wins a season, with many seasons bringing more than that. Calhoun was also named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005.
The prestige afforded to UConn as a result of the men’s basketball program is undeniable. Along with Geno Auriemma, Calhoun has made UConn synonymous with “basketball,” or even better, “great basketball.” It is only fitting his contributions be so honored with something so permanent. It is also fitting that the road renamed in Calhoun’s honor is one adjacent to Gampel Pavillion, which was erected during Calhoun’s time here, and the new basketball development center in addition to the rest of the sport complexes and stadiums that line that road. UConn students past, present and future now have a further memorial to the great coach and man, Jim Calhoun.