Calhoun To Sign Long-Term Extension?

Posted by zhayes9 on September 30th, 2009

News broke yesterday that longtime Connecticut men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun and athletic director Jeff Hathaway are working on securing a long-term contract extension for the highly successful and equally embattled face of the program that could reach a maximum of six more years roaming the UConn bench.

The last 14 months have certainly been a roller-coaster ride for Calhoun, leading many to believe the 805-game winner may step down after 2008-09 to deal with his health problems and spend more time with his six grandchildren. Calhoun is a two-time cancer survivor, including dealing with extensive chemotherapy prior to last season, and recently suffered eight broken ribs in a bike accident in June. Calhoun also dealt with the Ken Krayeske “not a dime” press conference controversy, the Nate Miles restraining order and subsequent NCAA investigation, missing the first round game of the NCAA Tournament due to acute stress and, on the flip-side, a highly successful 31-5 (15-3) campaign that ended with a trip to the Final Four.

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Instead of quitting amidst the gunfire, Calhoun will chug on. And in the end, this is the best possible scenario for Connecticut fans. Even at the ripe age of 67, Calhoun has the fire to recruit with the best young coaches in the business, spending seven of the first ten summer recruiting days traveling around the country pursuing the cream of the crop, just weeks after the bike crash. After losing an abundance of talent from last year’s squad, Calhoun has reloaded with five-star impact center Alex Oriakhi and his boarding school teammate Jamal Coombs-McDaniel along with four-star point guard Darius Smith. Connecticut remains in the hunt for superstar 2010 recruits Brandon Knight, Cory Joseph, Doron Lamb and Roscoe Smith. The fact that these recruits will know that Calhoun will be in Storrs for the long haul can only help in their recruitment.

One thing you know about Jim Calhoun: He’s a fighter. He won’t quit. Love him or hate him, few college coaches have the fire of the 67-year old Calhoun. With two national titles, three Final Fours, a Hall-of-Fame plaque to his resume and 557 career wins at Connecticut (including the love of almost every former player), an extension seems inevitable, even if it should extend into his mid-70s. While his doctor may not advise it, Calhoun’s never-wavering passion for coaching young men should trump all.

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3 Responses to “Calhoun To Sign Long-Term Extension?”

  1. jtruman37 says:

    Glad to see you posted this. I saw the article locally & was hoping it would end up here. I’m glad to see Calhoun is planning on sticking around. I think he wants 1000 wins & while that’s not exactly likely, 900 isn’t out of the question. I don’t think the locals expected Calhoun to just up & step down this season. What you said about him having the fire to recruit w/ the young coaches is true. Really, I think it’s just a general fire. To add a little color, the bike accident you mentioned occurred on mile 12 of a 50 miles charity race.

    http://www.courant.com/sports/college/hc-calhoun0614.artjun14,0,4448648.story

    After hitting a pothole, falling, & breaking 8 ribs, the 67yr old waited for a bike mechanic to fix his bike, got back on, & finished remaining 38 miles of the race. Not the actions of a man ready to enjoy a leisurely retirement. Dangerous & reckless, too, while we’re on the subject, He’s lucky he didn’t have any internal injuries.

    & it’d be one thing if he were fading. But, as you said, he is active. Out there. Honestly, don’t be surprised if they land Brandon Knight (who is EXACTLY the type of player I’d want on my team). Knight just seems to get it. He’s a sharp kid. He made an official visit to UConn last weekend.

    http://www.courant.com/sports/uconn-men/hc-ucmen0926.artsep26,0,1775450.story

    From the quotes, it’s obvious that Knight has a good head on his shoulders & a grasp of his potential. That he likes that Calhoun is a no BS kind of guy is a reassuring tidbit. I just have a feeling… It would also be personally satisfying, as a fan. The Huskies have never landed a consensus #1 H.S. player. Nor have they had a #1 overall NBA draft pick (though having the 2nd & 3rd picks in the ’04 draft is not bad). So I would personally like to see Knight. & if you’ll allow me to indulge coincidence, Pitt’s Brandon Knight was involved in epic battles w/ the Huskies during his career. Including a Big East Final I attended that saw him hurt his knee, leave the game, & come back Willis Reed style. Also, foolishly & recklessly.

    In any case, it seems UConn would be a good fit for Knight. Kemba Walker would be a junior. He will have an established Big East star to run w/. Dyson will be gone. Hell, everyone will be gone. This is a BIG recruiting year in CT. I want to say 8 spots to fill… Knight would be a great addition.

    Continuing on a theme of coincidence, Jeremy Lamb’s (the 1st recruit to sign w/ UC) father Rolando, while @ VCU, hit a buzzer beater to knock Calhoun’s 1984 Northeastern Huskies out of the 2nd round of the NCAA tourney.

    http://www.courant.com/sports/uconn-men/hc-uconnrecruit0926.artsep26,0,5933053.story

    Not to say I would shake a stick at Cory Joseph. I’m just anxious for the pins to begin to fall. Getting Joseph or Knight to sign soon would really help convincing some bigs to come to Storrs. The horizon is bright for the program. I’ll be much more reassured once the Nate Miles fiasco is resolved. & I was REALLY looking forward to seeing him play. But other than that, things are strong.

    Final thought: The ’09-’10 Huskies will have some tough early season tests that they may not pass. But next season’s team will be a tough out come March, How far the team goes next year hinges on the maturation of Stanley Robinson, who was an absolute kill beast to close last season. Freakishly athletic.

  2. rtmsf says:

    Damn, JTruman, why don’t you just come over and start posting here with comments like that!

  3. jtruman37 says:

    Thanks. Would love to. You guys do a great job. Lots of great content. Good looking site. Keep it up!

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