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UConn men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun retiring
HARTFORD, CONN. (AP) - Jim Calhoun is officially retiring as men’s basketball coach at Connecticut after a 40-year college career and three national championships.
The 70-year-old Hall of Famer and the school released a statement shortly before a news conference at center court in Storrs, where Calhoun led the Huskies for the past 26 seasons, racking up 625 of his 873 wins.
Calhoun has been slowed by health problems in recent years including a fractured hip last month.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
Jim Calhoun is leaving Connecticut the same way he coached it to three national titles _ on his terms.
The 70-year-old Hall of Famer scheduled a news conference for 2 p.m. Thursday to announce his retirement, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because Calhoun’s move had not yet been made public. WVIT-TV in Hartford first reported the expected announcement.
Assistant coach Kevin Ollie, who played for Calhoun and was his hand-picked successor, will be introduced as the Huskies’ new coach. The person familiar with the deal said Ollie will receive a one-year contract.
Calhoun racked up 873 collegiate wins _ 625 of them at his beloved UConn, where he ran the men’s program for 26 years and won three national titles.
Recently, though, Calhoun has struggled with health problems, including a fractured hip that required surgery and left him on crutches after a bicycle accident last month.
Ollie will take over a Huskies team that is ineligible for the 2013 NCAA tournament because of its failure to meet national academic standards, one of several off-court problems that hit UConn late in Calhoun’s tenure. Ollie is one of more than two dozen players whom Calhoun sent to the NBA, a list that also includes Ben Gordon, Kemba Walker, Rudy Gay and Emeka Okafor.
The Huskies will open this year with just five players who saw significant playing time last season.
Before fracturing his hip, Calhoun fought off cancer three times and missed eight games last season because of a painful spinal condition. He returned just four days after having back surgery to coach the Huskies in their regular-season finale and the postseason.
By Donald Lambro
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