UConn’s Calhoun announces retirement

Nickalas Tabbert

Jim Calhoun, the coach who helped Connecticut win three national championships and post 25 consecutive winning seasons, announced his retirement Thursday.

Calhoun, who took over as the Huskies' head coach 26 years ago, said in a news conference it was simply the right time to move to the next phase in his life.

The 17th head coach in the history of the program won national titles in 1999, 2004 and 2011. He won seven Big East tournament titles and 10 regular-season league titles. He made four Final Fours, nine Elite Eights and 13 Sweet 16s in the NCAA tournament.

He is only one of eight Division I coaches in history with more than 800 wins and had a record of 625-243 since arriving on campus in 1986, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Kevin Ollie, who played for Calhoun and has been an assistant for the past two years, has been named head coach. He has a one-year contract that runs through April 4, 2013, worth $625,000, according to The Hartford Courant.

"I cannot put into words how grateful I am to coach Jim Calhoun, who retires today as one of the most legendary coaches in the history of college basketball," he said. "Coach Calhoun brought me here to Connecticut as a person right out of high school and has mentored me into the person I have become today."

Calhoun, 70, will become a special assistant to athletics director Warde Manuel, USA Today said.

"Jim has given 26 years of 100 percent effort into making UConn, and UConn basketball, and so many student-athletes into the best they can be," Manuel said in a press release. "I am proud to have worked with him, if only for a brief period of time, and I look forward to his association with us for years to come."