STORRS, Conn. (WWLP-AP) - Retiring after three national titles in a 26-year career at Connecticut, Jim Calhoun is thanking everyone who helped him turn the Huskies into a basketball powerhouse.
The 70-year-old Hall of Famer spoke Thursday at a news conference to announce he is stepping down. The event is being held on the court in Storrs, where Calhoun racked up many of his 873 total wins.
In thanking administrators, players, fans and his family, the longtime coach says he feels blessed and is grateful that "you trusted us."
Calhoun will take a transition appointment through next spring as a special assistant to athletic director Warde Manuel. When he is fully retired, Calhoun will become head coach emeritus.
Calhoun has been slowed by health problems in recent years including a fractured hip last month.
Assistant coach Kevin Ollie, who played point guard for Calhoun from 1991-95, will be the Huskies' new coach. His contract runs through next April 4 and he will be paid $625,000.
Under Calhoun’s leadership, the UConn men won three national titles, in 1999, 2004, and 2011. UConn, however, was stripped of its 1996 NCAA tournament victories last year, following an NCAA investigation, which also resulted in other sanctions against the team.
In recent years, he has had to contend with a variety of health issues, including prostate cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, a broken hip, and back problems.
A native of Braintree, Massachusetts, Calhoun was enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield in 2005.