Column: Calhoun deserves a little more
Published: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 23:09
Walking past Gampel Pavilion to and from class is always awe-inspiring.
Right in the center of the Storrs campus is a massive dome that reminds students every day of what UConn’s basketball program has done not just for the athletic program, but for its help in putting the entire university on the map.
And now, after this weekend’s ceremony honoring former head coach Jim Calhoun, students and fans alike get to appreciate the newest addition to the Gampel area: A street named Jim Calhoun Way. The renaming of Stadium Road to Jim Calhoun Way is a great addition to the whole Gampel experience not only because the street no longer holds any remains of a football stadium, but for the fact that it honors one of the school’s most important figures in terms of athletics.
But in honoring the man that led the charge in making UConn a national men’s basketball powerhouse, renaming a street may be coming up a little short.
It is a popular tradition among many college campuses with sports histories to honor former coaches, players, and other important figures with statues, and Jim Calhoun just may be the first such UConn figure worthy of the honor.
Many schools have even done so for much less. It only took one national championship under Nick Saban for Alabama–a school with an already legendary winning football tradition–to erect a statue of their head coach in 2011.
Calhoun deserves a statue because what he did for the men’s basketball program and University as a whole will stay with UConn forever, even though he may not be regularly on campus as he was during his coaching tenure.
Calhoun deserves a statue because he led so many college athletes through their UConn tenures to successful NBA careers.
Calhoun deserves a statue because he has left his mark on so many UConn players and fans that it is only right that the former head coach deserves a more permanent and prominent spot on the UConn campus for years to come.
And by the time Geno Auriemma retires from his already legendary role as women’s basketball head coach, the same honor should be expected for him.