Only 127 wins shy of 1000, legendary UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun has decided to hang up his suit and retire.
NBC broke the news late Wednesday afternoon that Calhoun would not return for his 41st year, but instead hand the reigns to Kevin Ollie. He takes over the program under the title interim head coach for this season.
Ollie spent the past two years as an assistant at UConn, after spending 13 years in the National Basketball Association. The UConn alum was Calhoun's preference to take over the program, and for now he has gotten his wish.
With an astounding record of 873-381, Calhoun is the sixth winningest coach in division 1 basketball. We could talk about his three national championships, or his production of 32 NBA players, but what we should truly celebrate is his dedication.
Prostate cancer, family issues and most recently spinal stenosis have sidelined him over the past decade. Three indefinite leaves of absence and three opportunities for Jim Calhoun to put himself first. However, that's not Jim Calhoun; as a matter of fact, who is Jim Calhoun if not the face and heart of UConn basketball?
The Huskies haven't turned out a losing season since Calhoun's first year with the program in 1986. That has to be a testament to his competitiveness and the grit he possesses on the sideline throughout his career, which started at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.
This trait may not be equaled by Coach Ollie because there aren't many who can match Calhoun's intensity, but Ollie will do his best impersonation. Its comforting knowing someone from in-house will be taking over and reiterating and restoring what Calhoun has taught for so many years.
Granted, his legacy may seem vaguely tarnished due to the sanctions brought upon the program for the 2012-13 season, but no one will forget what he built.
UConn is losing a great leader and a prominent coach but their program will not falter. Recruits are drooling over the new leader and many say it will steer them towards UConn.
* Look for Kentan Facey and Terrance Samuel to remain Husky commits due to Kevin Ollie being the new coach.