Jim Calhoun To Be Special Assistant To AD; Kevin Ollie Named UConn Men's Basketball Coach

Jim Calhoun smiles during Thursday's press conference in which the Hall of Fame coach announced his retirement. (MARK MIRKO)

Calhoun's coaching tree currently includes five Division I head coaches: Howie Dickenman (Central Conn.), Mike Jarvis (Florida Atlantic), Tom Moore (Quinnipiac), Steve Pikiell (Stony Brook), and Ted Woodward (Maine). Former assistant Dave Leitao, and current UConn assistants Glen Miller and Karl Hobbs also have been head coaches at the Division I level.

"Coaching at UConn has just been phenomenal, there's no other way to describe it," Calhoun said. "I will always be grateful to the University of Connecticut. When I look back and see what we were able to accomplish here, I am extremely proud."

Calhoun was born May 10, 1942, in Braintree, Mass.. Calhoun and his wife Pat were married in 1966 and live in Pomfret. They have two sons, Jim and Jeff. Jim and his wife Jennifer live in Massachusetts with daughters Emily, Katie and son Sam. Jeff and his wife Amy live in Connecticut with daughters Avery, Reese and Peyton.

Ollie and his wife, Stephanie, have a son, Jalen, and daughter, Cheyenne. Born December 27, 1972, Ollie is a native of Los Angeles where he attended Crenshaw High School.

Everyone from the college basketball world is or will weigh in on what Calhoun has meant. And the common theme is what he was able to do at Connecticut.

"The great success achieved by the UConn men's basketball program under Jim Calhoun's leadership helped propel the University of Connecticut onto the national stage," Geno Auriemma, who was out of state and unable to attend the press conference, said in a statement. "His contributions to this University have been positive and will be long lasting. I want to take this opportunity to wish Jim Calhoun all my best in a long, happy and healthy retirement.

Auriemma went on to say: "I have always admired Kevin Ollie as a person and as a player and know that he will make the most of this opportunity. He has had great success in everything he has done and I am confident this will be no exception."

Longtime Big East coach and friend Jim Boeheim told the Syracuse Post-Standard Thursday morning: "I think it's one of the great coaching jobs of all-time. I think the biggest thing for me is when you take over at a Kentucky or Kansas or North Carolina or Duke, it's still a hard job but you've got so many assets and so much tradition. If you do a great job there, it's great. But if you take over a program like Connecticut, which was still coming out of the Yankee Conference, and do what he's done. It's pretty remarkable.''

At Courant.com, by noon, there were more than 80 comments from fans.

Said one: "The last national championship season will never be duplicated by anybody. We have witnessed the power of sheer determination by a man that could not do it any other way. I am so proud of his achievements. Thank you, Coach."