James C. Calhoun (born May 10, 1942
in Braintree, Massachusetts) is the coach of the University of
Connecticut's men's basketball team.
He has made it to the final four three times in 1999, 2004, and
2009. He won two national championships, the 1999 and 2004 NCAA
the 1988 NIT
championship, and 6 Big East
championships in 1990, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, and 2004.
he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
On Feb. 25, 2009, Jim Calhoun won his 800th
game when Connecticut beat Marquette, 93–82.
Calhoun was born and raised in Braintree, Mass., where he was a
standout on the basketball, football
, and baseball
teams at Braintree High School. After his
father died of a heart attack
when Calhoun was 15, he was left to take care of his large family,
including five siblings.
Early career and education
he received a basketball scholarship to Lowell
State (now UMass Lowell), he only attended the school for
three months, after which he returned home to help support his
mother and siblings.
He worked as a granite
worker, game-show host,
factory worker, and gravedigger
20-month leave from higher education, Calhoun returned to college,
this time at American International College in , where he was given another basketball
He was the leading scorer on the team his
junior and senior seasons, and captained the team in his final
year, during which AIC advanced to the Division II playoffs. At the
time he graduated, he was ranked as the fourth all-time scorer at
AIC. Calhoun graduated in 1968 with a bachelor's degree
On February 3, 2003, after the worst home loss of his career, a
34-point loss to Boston College
Calhoun announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer
. He took an immediate leave
of absence from the team and underwent surgery three days later to
have his prostate removed. He was released from the hospital on
February 9 and within days was once again involved in the
day-to-day operation of the program. On February 22 Jim
Calhoun returned to the sidelines for the team's match-up with
St. John's at Gampel Pavilion, only 16 days after the surgery.
On May 30, 2008, UConn announced that Calhoun was undergoing
treatment for squamous cell
. He said he plans to continue coaching.
On June 13, 2009, Calhoun fell during a charity bike event and
broke five ribs. He finished the final sixteen miles of the event
before going to the hospital.
Calhoun and his wife, Pat, live in and have two sons and six
grandchildren. They have been married since 1967. They have also
purchased a home on Long Island Sound in .
The couple, both of whom lost parents to heart disease, is known
for their philanthropy
, including the
Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center
at UConn and the
annual Jim Calhoun Holiday Food Drive
which has raised
nearly $1 million supporting food assistance agencies that serve to
help families in need throughout the State of Connecticut. In 1998,
a $125,000 gift from Jim Calhoun and his wife Pat established the
Jim and Pat Calhoun Cardiology Research Fund
Health Center. The Jim Calhoun Celebrity Classic Golf
was launched in 1999 and has since raised millions
in support of the endowment fund. In 2003 & 2004, Coach Calhoun
served as celebrity host of the black tie gala "Hoops For
", by Coaches vs. Cancer, a program established in 1993 by
the American Cancer Society
the events raised over $400,000 for the ACS. 2007 is the first year
of The Big Y Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride
event to benefit The Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer
at the University of Connecticut Health Center; the
ride raised over $225,000.
For many years, Calhoun has been the Honorary Chairman of the
, which has generated over $4.5 million to fund
research. Coach Calhoun has also
served as an Honorary Chairperson/Director for other charitable
programs including the Ronald
McDonald House Kids Classic Golf Tournament
, the Ray
of Hope Foundation Golf Tournament
, the Connecticut Children's
and Children's Miracle Network
the "Character Counts" program in the state of Connecticut.
- 1998 –
The Franciscan Sisters dedicate an outdoor basketball area,
"Calhoun's Court" at the Franciscan Life Center in Meriden, CT
- 2004 – Calhoun is the first recipient of an award by the Swim
Across The Sound Prostate Cancer Institute
- 2005 – "Honorary Alumni Award" from the University of
Connecticut Alumni Association
Calhoun began his coaching career at Lyme-Old Lyme High School in
Connecticut in 1965 after accepting a sixth grade teaching
position in that town over the summer.
After finishing 1–17
that season, Calhoun returned to Massachusetts after deciding not
to complete the necessary certification paperwork to renew his
teaching contract (he was certified in Mass. and working in Conn.
only on a temporary certificate). After one season at Westport (Mass.) High,
he accepted a position at Dedham High School and began building a very strong program.
completed a 20–1 season in 1971.
He went on in 1972 to bring his Dedham High School team a perfect
season, going 18–0, and they won the Massachusetts High school Bay
was quickly recruited by Northeastern University in Boston to serve as their new head coach.
the position in October 1971, and quickly built Northeastern into
the dominant power in the ECAC North Atlantic Conference. He also
transitioned the team from Division II to Division I.
The team advanced to the Division I tournament 4 times under
Calhoun. During his final three seasons, Northeastern achieved
automatic bids to the NCAA tournament and had a 72–19 record. He
received six regional Coach of the Year accolades at Northeastern
and remains the institution's all-time winningest coach
Former Boston Celtics
, who played for Calhoun at
Northeastern, was a first-round pick in the 1987 NBA Draft
On May 14, 1986, Calhoun was named the head coach at the University
of Connecticut. After completing his first season just 9–19,
Calhoun led the Huskies to a 18–14 record in 1988 and a bid to
Tournament, where they defeated Ohio
State to win the NIT championship.
Calhoun was named the consensus National Coach of the Year after
leading the Huskies to their first Big East
championship, the NCAA
Elite Eight, and a 29–6 record in only his fourth
year at the helm.
won his first NCAA national championship in 1999, as he led UConn
to its first-ever Final Four and national
championship over favored Duke in St.
standout Richard "Rip" Hamilton
team to a 77–74 victory.
Calhoun led the Huskies to another national championship in 2004,
at the conclusion of a season that saw UConn start and complete the
year as the number one team in the nation. Moreover, the Lady
Huskies won the women's
the next night, marking the first time
the same program won both titles in the same year. UConn standouts
and Ben Gordon
were selected #2 and #3 in the NBA
Draft, respectively. Calhoun now holds a 35–12 record with UConn in
NCAA tournament play including 4–1 in the Final Four. They lost in
the first round for the first time on March 21, 2008 in overtime to
During the Jim Calhoun era, the UConn Huskies have done well in the
Big East Conference
impressive 220–112 record (.665 winning percentage). The Huskies
have won or shared conference titles in 1990, 1994–1996, 1998–1999,
2002, and 2005–2006. UConn has also won six Big East Men's Basketball
championships in 1990, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, and
2, 2005 he achieved his 700th win at Gampel Pavilion over Georgetown.
His friend and Big East
rival coach Jim Boeheim
also won his
700th game during the previous week. Later in 2005, Coach
Calhoun was honored by induction into the Dr. James Naismith National Basketball
Hall of Fame, fittingly, along with Jim Boeheim.
February 25, 2009, he achieved his 800th win at the Bradley Center
Calhoun was the first coach in NCAA history to have won at least
240 games at two different Division I schools. Eddie Sutton
later achieved this same
Calhoun has coached 23 UConn players who have moved on to
On February 21, 2009, he got into a heated exchange with Ken Krayeske
, a freelance journalist and
activist after a win over South
, in regards to his salary in the tough economic times.
He said he would "not [give] a dime back" to the state of
Connecticut. He told Krayeske to "shut up" and said that his team
brought the university $12 million a year. The reporter had been
given a pass despite the fact he did not regularly cover the team.
Many commentators felt that it was unfair to ask these types of
questions after a game and the subject should be restricted to his
team and the game, while others pointed out how Calhoun had given a
lot of money and time to various charities, including efforts to
. However, some felt that
Calhoun's chastising of the journalist was over the top. In a
taken after the incident Calhoun attained a remarkable
level of public support from Connecticut residents. 68% had a
favorable opinion of Calhoun and 61% favored him retaining his full
salary. 51% approved of the way Calhoun answered Krayeske's
question and 80% opposed efforts by some state lawmakers to
On March 25, 2009, Yahoo Sports
reported that Calhoun and the UConn men's basketball program had
allegedly committed several major NCAA recruiting violations from
2006–2008 regarding the recruitment of Nate Miles, who never played
basketball for the school and was expelled for other reasons. In
addition, the NCAA has told Calhoun not to comment on the state of
the investigation while it is in progress.
25 of coach Calhoun's former players moved on to professional
careers in the National
, the Continental Basketball
, as well as other national and international
leagues:(with draft team from earliest to most recent)
- 1987: Reggie Lewis – Boston Celtics captain
- 1989: Clifford Robinson –
Portland Trail Blazers
- 1990: Tate George – New Jersey Nets
- 1992: Chris Smith –
- 1993: Scott Burrell – Charlotte Hornets
- 1994: Donyell Marshall –
- 1995: Kevin Ollie – Connecticut Pride, CBA;
- 1995: Donny Marshall – Cleveland Cavaliers
- 1996: Ray Allen – Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle Supersonics, Boston Celtics
- 1996: Travis Knight – Chicago Bulls
- 1996: Doron Sheffer – Los Angeles Clippers, Maccabi Tel Aviv
- 1999: Richard
Hamilton – Washington
- 2000: Khalid El-Amin – Chicago Bulls
- 2000: Jake Voskuhl – Chicago Bulls
- 2002: Caron Butler – Miami Heat
- 2004: Emeka Okafor – Charlotte Bobcats
- 2004: Ben Gordon – Chicago Bulls,
- 2005: Charlie Villanueva –
- 2006: Hilton Armstrong –
New Orleans Hornets
- 2006: Josh Boone – New Jersey Nets
- 2006: Denham Brown – Seattle SuperSonics
- 2006: Rudy Gay – Houston Rockets
- 2006: Marcus
Williams – New Jersey Nets
- 2008: A. J. Price - Indiana Pacers
- 2008: Hasheem Thabeet - Memphis Grizzlies
Head coaching record
- CNNSI.com, March 23, 1999 "Calhoun riding an emotional wave to St.
- ESPN.com, April 4, 2009 "Calhoun contemplating future"
- Calhoun, Jim. Dare To Dream: Connecticut Basketball's
Remarkable March to the National Championship ISBN
- Calhoun, Jim. A passion to lead: seven leadership secrets
for success in business, sports, and life ISBN