The last few years seemed a harbinger of Jim Calhoun’s impending retirement. Even still, the fiery coach would take a leave for health reasons, then lead another team deep into the NCAA tournament. Two years ago, he coached the UCONN Huskies and the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, Kemba Walker, to another National Championship. The third championship of Calhoun’s tenure.
UCONN is on the map because of the basketball programs, and that began with the work that Coach Calhoun. At age 70, Jim Calhoun announced his retirement from coaching basketball on Thursday.
Jim Calhoun is one of eight coaches in D-I history who have amassed over 800 victories. 625 have come while coaching the Huskies.
The list of greats coached by this great is incredibly impressive. A few names come to mind from recent years including Kemba Walker, Rudy Gay, Ben Gordon, Emeka Okafor and of course, names like Richard (Rip) Hamilton and future Hall-of-Famer, Ray Allen.
Under Calhoun, the UCONN Men’s Basketball teams have averaged 24 wins/season. A fast fact: Before Calhoun arrived to take the program in a different direction, the university had only enjoyed two seasons tallying 23 wins. Simply put, he changed the basketball culture. It is easily argued that the fantastical success of the women’s program at UCONN was also greatly influenced by the winning tradition established by Jim Calhoun.
Best wishes to the coach as he moves on to the next chapter of his life.