Jim Calhoun was still playing basketball when he married Pat 46 years ago and their life together has been defined by the game.

There was his time coaching in high school before he ascended to a college job in 1972. For more than 40 years, the calendar has revolved around Jim's coaching.

So what will this winter be like in the Calhoun house?

"That's the big question," Pat Calhoun said. "That's the question that I keep asking myself. Basketball has always been very much a part of our lives and I cannot imagine what it will be like to not have a season. I have no idea what it will be like. You'll have to ask me that in April."

Pat Calhoun said she has wondered how her husband will handle sitting on the sideline during a game. Jim Calhoun has missed games for health-related reasons in recent years, but this year he'll be watching games with less of a vested interest.

"It remains to be seen," Pat Calhoun said. "He's never been in that position, as crazy at it seems. Of course, it's not the worst position to be in, certainly."

The Calhouns will now have the freedom of retirement. It's something they've discussed in recent years.

"But going back many years ago, he always said, 'I won't coach when I'm 50,'" Pat said. "And I used to always think it was when he was 50 years old. Then I used to say to him, I didn't realize you meant you were going to be coaching for 50 years. I guess I didn't listen.

"So once we got past that 50 years of age, I realized he was never going to stop coaching. Who am I kidding? So nothing surprises me."

The decision to retire, Pat said, was "100 percent his."

"He knew that I supported him," she said. "He actually knew that I would have preferred that he stay coaching forever if that was possible, fully knowing that obviously it wasn't. ... But It's been a wonderful life for us."

Pat Calhoun said her husband has been leaning toward retirement the past few weeks, but she was still unsure. When she left his office at Gampel Pavilion on Thursday afternoon before the press conference, she had one message for him.

"I said to him, 'Do not change your mind,'" she said.


At his press conference, Jim Calhoun introduced his entire family — sons Jim and Jeff, their wives and the grandchildren — but he was emphatic when it was his wife's turn to stand.

"That's the best recruit I ever got," Calhoun said. "Best recruit."

Ollie, Marshall Reunion

Gampel Pavilion had long since emptied out of television crews and reporters when Kevin Ollie approached his friend and former teammate Donny Marshall with the simplest of requests.

"Let me get a hug — before you tell all my business," Ollie said to Marshall.

So there, with no fanfare, just a few feet from where they sparred more 20 years ago as freshman, Ollie and Marshall embraced.