Jim Calhoun to step down at UConn

Connecticut men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun is retiring and plans to announce his decision Thursday, a person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made public.

Assistant coach Kevin Ollie was expected to replace Calhoun, the person said.

Calhoun led the UConn program from obscurity to three national championships, but has struggled recently with health issues, including a fractured hip last month that has forced him to come to work on crutches.

The 70-year-old Calhoun won 873 games in 40 years as a head coach, first at Northeastern and the last 26 years at UConn, and put four teams in the Final Four, winning national titles in 1999, 2004, and 2011.

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Calhoun, who was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005, is a three-time cancer survivor. He missed eight games last season while suffering from a painful spinal condition. He returned days after having back surgery to coach the regular-season finale and the postseason.

UConn finished the year 20-14, losing to Iowa State in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies are ineligible for next year’s NCAA and Big East tournaments because of poor academic performance.

In addition to his medical leave, Calhoun served a three-game suspension at the start of the Big East season last winter for failing to maintain an atmosphere of compliance in his program, an issue that dated to recruiting violations in 2008.

Then, last month, he underwent successful surgery to repair a left hip fracture from a bicycle accident.

Calhoun, a native of Braintree, began his head coaching career at Old Lyme High school before moving back to Massachusetts, where he coached at Westport High and then Dedham High. After leading Dedham to a 21-1 record in 1972, he was hired as head coach at Northeastern.

Calhoun spent the next 14 years at the school, leading the team from a Division 2 program, to a mid-major power with five NCAA Tournament berths.

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Calhoun was then hired by UConn in May 1986 and won an NIT title in his second season. His teams won 10 Big East regular-season championships and seven Big East tournament titles over his tenure.

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