ESPN has reported that legendary coach Jim Calhoun has retired after 26 seasons of coaching. Calhoun has had some health issues after breaking his hip. He decided that coaching would be too much and decided to hang it up.
According to an NBC-Connecticut report, Calhoun, 70, will retire, an announcement to come Thursday. UConn officials were not offering confirmation nor denials. Calhoun, before leaving Gampel Pavilion Wednesday afternoon, told the Courant there was nothing to report, but added “we’re having the discussions we need to have about moving forward. … Life is full of tough decisions.”
Calhoun has been UConn’s coach since 1986, when he took over from Dom Perno. UConn had been a successful program within New England, but in its early years in the Big East Conference was normally near the bottom of the league. The Huskies were 9-19 in Calhoun’s first year, but that was their last losing season. Under Calhoun, UConn men’s basketball became one of the nation’s elite program and came to dominate the sports scene in Connecticut, Calhoun himself become perhaps the most significant sports figure in state
On Aug. 4, hours before his alumni game for charity, Calhoun fractured his left hip in a biking accident. He has been on campus nearly every day since Aug. 30, but is still using crutches.
Wednesday seemed to be a typical day for him. Calhoun was in the office in the morning, and out on the floor watching players, including Kemba Walker, play a pick-up game before leaving about 4 p.m., giving no hint that it could be his last day on the job.
Calhoun was also quoted saying…
“I want people to say, ‘the five best programs in the history of basketball are North Carolina, Duke, Indiana, Kentucky and – they have a tough time saying it sometimes – Connecticut. We are one of those teams. I want that legacy very badly for UConn. The passion of the people here , there is always a very thin line between love and hate, depending on the day, the recruit kid who didn’t play well as well as they thought. But the worse thing to have, as when I came here, was apathy.”
This is a huge blow to UConn basketball to have such a pivotal figure step down. I’m sure whoever replaces him will have huge shoes to fill.
(Credit to http://www.courant.com for breaking story)