UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun expected to announce retirement Thursday
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 23:09
UConn men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun, 70, is expected to announce his retirement tomorrow, after 26 years at the university, according to NBC Connecticut and the Hartford Courant.
Speculation about Calhoun’s potential retirement has increased over the past several days, including stories from Sports Illustrated that indicated he might be leaning toward stepping down. But as of yesterday afternoon, Calhoun told Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant that his status remained unchanged.
Shortly thereafter, Kevin Nathan of NBC Connecticut broke news that the coach would be retiring.
“Coach Calhoun told me that ‘nothing is finalized,’” Nathan said in a tweet. “But a source close to Calhoun tells me his retirement is ‘imminent.’”
Various reports that followed indicate that current assistant coach Kevin Ollie will be named as Calhoun’s replacement. Though the length or terms of a potential contract are not yet certain, it is believed that he will receive a one-year deal and will not be considered an interim head coach, according to reports by the Waterbury Republican–American’s Ed Daigneault. It is also believed that Karl Hobbs, George Blaney and Glen Miller will remain on the staff.
The coach has battled health problems throughout his career at UConn, twice dealing with cancer and several other injuries. Last season, Calhoun missed games due to a back problem that required him to have surgery. Most recently, he fractured his left hip after falling off his bike in early August.
Calhoun, who has two years left on his current contract, will leave the program he helped build in a bit of turmoil, as it enters a season in which the team cannot play in the postseason due to NCAA sanctions. The team’s Academic Progress Rate fell below the allowable minimum standard, and has been banned from the NCAA tournament this coming season. The Big East has also said they will not allow the Huskies to compete in the conference tournament.
Campus was abuzz with reporters Wednesday night, and students were talking about the news of their coach retiring.
“It’s kind of sad I guess, he’s been here a while and won three national championships, but I’m excited about a new coach coming,” said 5th-semester student Luke Scinto. “With everything the program’s been through recently, I think a new coach and a new start might be a good thing.”
While the change in the product on the court may not be significant, as Kevin Ollie is an in-house hire, Scinto says it will not be the same without the coach who helped build a basketball powerhouse in Storrs on the sideline.
“I’m from Connecticut – I’ve been a UConn basketball fan since I was like six,” Scinto added. “So definitely all I’ve known is Jim Calhoun.”
A press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday in Gampel Pavilion for the announcement.