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Kevin Freeman Leaving UConn To Be Assistant Coach At Penn State

Dom Amore
Contact Reporterdamore@courant.com

Kevin Freeman, who played on UConn’s first men’s basketball championship team and has been working with the program since retiring as a player in 2011, is leaving to become an assistant coach at Penn State.

Freeman, 40, has been serving as director of basketball administration and was retained when Dan Hurley replaced Kevin Ollie in March. But he has long hoped to begin a coaching career.

Hurley remembered seeing Freeman as a high school player in Paterson, N.J., playing against his father’s team, St. Anthony of Jersey City, and got to know him over the two and a half months at UConn.

“What an incredible ambassador he is, has been, will continue to be for UConn,” Hurley said. “Amazing heart, as a player and coach, in the two-plus months I’ve been with him, to see the impact he has on players and people around the university, man, what an impressive guy. Here’s a guy who deserves advancement in his career, if any one in this business does it’s him and I think he’s just going to be an amazing coach in college.”

UConn plans to fill Freeman’s position, but will change the title and make it more a player-development, less an administrative position.

Hurley took his staff in a different direction on Wednesday, hiring Sal Alosi as director of human performance.

The Huskies were 109-32 during Freeman’s playing career. He was known as a tenacious rebounder, and was named most outstanding player in the Big East Tournament in 1999, the year UConn won the NCAA title for the first time. After a playing career overseas, he earned his degree in 2006 and joined Jim Calhoun’s staff in 2011. In his role, he coordinated practice and travel scheduling and was a liaison between the basketball program and the school’s leadership and community.

When Hurley was hired, he brought Eric Youncofski from Rhode Island as director of basketball operations, so Freeman’s role was evolving.

The job at Penn State opened when Dwayne Anderson left for a position at Villanova earlier his month. Penn State coach Pat Chambers, who was an assistant at Villanova when Freeman was playing for UConn, tabbed Freeman to fill out his staff. The Nittany Lions were 26-13 last season, beating Utah to win the NIT championship at Madison Square Garden.

Human Performance Hiring

Meanwhile, UConn announced the hiring of Sal Alosi as director of human performance. He will be responsible for “physical, nutrition and wellness aspects of the program.”

Alosi, 41, had been the strength and conditioning coordinator for UCLA football the last six years. In the past, he has worked in the NFL for the Jets and Falcons.

“I am very pleased to welcome Sal to our program at UConn,” Hurley said in a statement released by UConn. “He has a proven history of success in the field of strength, conditioning and nutrition and I know he will foster the kind of culture and work ethic that will greatly benefit our players.”

Alosi, a Long Island native and Hofstra graduate, described far-reaching plans for UConn.

“We will build a 24-hour wellness program,” he said in the statement, “where the time spent off the court and out of the weight room will be emphasized just as much as the time spent training. We will be educating our team about how to eat, how to sleep, how to hydrate, how to recover — establishing a game plan in all areas that can have a positive impact when it comes to on-court performance. There is a much greater commitment than just running and lifting. Ultimately, the tools we teach our players here will benefit them on and off the court, and long after their time at UConn.”


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