Having completed his 22nd season as head coach at the
University of Connecticut and his 36th year as a collegiate head coach, Jim
Calhoun has unquestionably stood the test of time in establishing himself as
perhaps the greatest program builder in college basketball history.
Jim Calhoun’s coaching success story includes winning two
NCAA National Championships (1999, 2004) at Connecticut, passing the elite
700-win plateau, and earning basketball’s highest honor, election into the
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2005.
Coach Calhoun is also a member of the Founding Class of the National Collegiate
Basketball Hall of Fame, announced in November of 2006.
The beginning of what has become one of college basketball’s
greatest coaching achievements—transforming the University of Connecticut into
one of the nation’s elite programs—was launched in May of 1986 when Jim Calhoun
was named head coach.
More than twenty years later, UConn Basketball sits atop the
college basketball landscape with a pair of NCAA National Championships, an NIT
Championship, recognition as the most successful program in the history of the
Big East Conference with a record-setting 16 league titles, and annual
acknowledgement as one of America’s truly outstanding college programs.
In addition, the Connecticut Basketball program is now led by
a Hall of Fame coach.
In September of 2005, with some 60 of his former players in
attendance, Jim Calhoun’s four decade body of work as one of college
basketball’s greatest coaches was formally rewarded when the UConn coach was
enshrined as a coach into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
In April of 2004, Jim Calhoun cemented his place among the
all-time collegiate coaching greats and as a future member of the Hall of Fame
by leading UConn to the 2004 national title. In directing Connecticut to its
second NCAA National Championship in a six-year span, Jim Calhoun became, at the
time, only the second coach to win multiple NCAA titles since the tournament
field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
On March 2, 2005, Jim Calhoun joined an elite club, becoming
one of only 19 coaches in NCAA Division I basketball history to reach the
700-win plateau when UConn beat Georgetown, 83-64.
Within a six-day period in April 2005, Jim Calhoun was
honored with two career awards. On April 4, 2005, the Naismith Memorial
Basketball Hall of Fame introduced Coach Calhoun as a Class of 2005 Hall of Fame
enshrinee. On April 9, 2005, Coach Calhoun became just the seventh recipient of
the prestigious John R. Wooden "Legends of Coaching Award" presented by the Los
Angeles Athletic Club. Previous winners of the award include Hall of Fame
coaches Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski and Lute Olson.
In his 36th season as a head coach on the NCAA Division I
collegiate level, Jim Calhoun’s overall collegiate head coaching record is
774-337. That includes a 248-137 record in 14 seasons as head coach at
Northeastern (MA) University and a 526-200 mark in his 22 seasons at
In his time at Connecticut, Jim Calhoun has compiled a
stunning 48-16 overall record in national postseason tournament competition
(36-12 in NCAA play, 12-4 in NIT play). His 36 NCAA wins at UConn, all achieved
since 1990, far outdistances the entire total of four NCAA victories recorded at
Connecticut before Coach Calhoun took over the Husky basketball program in the
spring of 1986.
Including the 2007-08 season, Jim Calhoun has led UConn to 15
NCAA bids in the past 19 years. Under Coach Calhoun’s direction, UConn has a
stunning 25-4 in NCAA First and Second Round competition since 1990. The Huskies
have earned 11 NCAA Sweet 16 berths in the past 18 years, seven Elite Eight
appearances, two NCAA Final Four trips and two National Championships.
Under Coach Calhoun, UConn has captured 16 BIG EAST
Championships, ten regular season crowns and six tournament titles. The Huskies
are 28-16 in BIG EAST Tournament play under Calhoun.
Even before capturing the 2004 NCAA title, Connecticut
basketball under head coach Jim Calhoun had achieved a unique "double", winning
the 1999 NCAA Division I National Championships as well as the 1988 National
Invitation Tournament (NIT) Championship.
When he arrived at Connecticut as the 17th head coach of
men’s basketball on May 15, 1986, Jim Calhoun immediately began to chart a new
course for success. He promised to "do it the right way, with no short cuts". He
noted he wanted to establish a program at UConn that would annually be called
one of the top programs in the nation.
One collegiate basketball writer, authoring an article on
Connecticut basketball for a national publication, said it best when he noted,
"Bringing the UConn program to this point from where it was when he took over is
nothing short of miraculous".
Jim Calhoun ranks No. 9 all-time in NCAA career victories
with 39 (36-11 at Connecticut, 3-5 at Northeastern). Coach Calhoun is 39-16 in
overall NCAA play (with two NCAA titles).
Jim Calhoun’s overall career record for national postseason
tournament competition is a remarkable 51-20 (39-16 in NCAA play, 12-4 in NIT
play). He has coached in the NCAA Tournament 19 times and in the NIT five times
(including winning the 1988 NIT title).
Much like his success at Connecticut, Jim Calhoun’s
performance as head coach at Northeastern (MA) University in Boston for 14
seasons was nothing short of sensational. He developed a program from Division
II status to a nationally-recognized squad which became a perennial NCAA
Division I tournament team. At NU, Jim Calhoun won 20 or more games in five of
his last six seasons, chalked up a brilliant 135-47 record during that span, and
earned five NCAA Division I tournament berths.
His final three years at Northeastern resulted in NCAA
automatic bids each season and a three-year mark of 75-19.
At Northeastern, Jim Calhoun’s teams averaged 17.9 wins per
season. He was a three-time New England "Coach of the Year" and a three-time
Kodak District I "Coach of the Year".
In leaving Northeastern in 1986, Coach Calhoun left perhaps
the most talented team in the school’s history, along with a first round NBA
draft pick in senior Reggie Lewis, who later became captain of the Boston
Celtics before his untimely death during the summer of 1993.
As was the case at Northeastern, Jim Calhoun’s success at
producing top-flight collegiate stars, who also excel at the professional
basketball level, is an annual happening at Connecticut. A total of 24 former
UConn stars that played for Coach Calhoun have been part of the National
Basketball Association (NBA). They include: Clifford Robinson (New Jersey
Nets/Golden State Warriors/Detroit Pistons/Phoenix Suns/Portland Trail Blazers),
Tate George (New Jersey Nets), Chris Smith (Minnesota Timberwolves), Scott
Burrell (New Jersey Nets/Chicago Bulls/Charlotte Hornets), Donyell Marshall
(Seattle Sonics/Cleveland Cavaliers/Toronto Raptors/Chicago Bulls/Utah
Jazz/Golden State Warriors), Donny Marshall (New Jersey Nets/Cleveland
Cavaliers), Kevin Ollie (Philadelphia 76ers/Cleveland Cavaliers/Seattle
Sonics/Milwaukee Bucks/Indiana Pacers/Chicago Bulls/New Jersey Nets/Orlando
Magic/Sacramento Kings/Dallas Mavericks), Ray Allen (Boston Celtics/Seattle
Sonics/Milwaukee Bucks), Travis Knight (New York Knicks/Boston Celtics/Los
Angeles Lakers), Doron Sheffer (Los Angeles Clippers), Richard Hamilton (Detroit
Pistons/Washington Wizards), Khalid El-Amin (Chicago Bulls/Dallas
Mavericks/Miami Heat), Jake Voskuhl (Milwaukee Bucks/Charlotte Bobcats/Phoenix
Suns/Chicago Bulls), Kevin Freeman (New Jersey Nets), Ricky Moore (Charlotte
Hornets/Detroit Pistons), Caron Butler (Washington Wizards/Los Angeles
Lakers/Miami Heat), Emeka Okafor (Charlotte Bobcats), Ben Gordon (Chicago
Bulls), Charlie Villanueva (Milwaukee Bucks/Toronto Raptors), Hilton Armstrong
(New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets), Josh Boone (New Jersey Nets), Denham Brown
(Seattle Sonics), Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies) and Marcus Williams (New Jersey
Thirteen of those Connecticut stars are listed on NBA regular
season rosters in 2007-08, more than any other school in the country. For the
past two seasons, Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton and Caron Butler all appeared in
the NBA All-Star Game. UConn was the only college in the nation represented by
three players in those contests. This was the third straight season the
University of Connecticut was represented in the NBA All-Star game by multiple
former Husky standouts. Allen has now been an all-star eight times in his
career, Hamilton three times and Butler twice. Three UConn players have also
been members of NBA Championship teams (Scott Burrell with the Chicago Bulls in
1998, Travis Knight with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000, Richard Hamilton with
the Detroit Pistons in 2004).
A former All-New England player at American International
College in Springfield, MA, Jim Calhoun graduated from AIC in 1968 with a
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology. At AIC, he lettered three years while
leading the Yellow Jacket basketball team in scoring as a junior and senior. He
captained his alma mater in his senior year and left the school as the fourth
all-time leading scorer along with helping the school earn an NCAA Division II
playoff berth. He is a member of the AIC Athletic Hall of Fame and in the summer
of 1994 earned the prestigious distinction of being elected to serve as a member
of the American International College Board of Trustees. In the spring of 2000,
Jim Calhoun served as the main commencement speaker at AIC’s 115th graduation
exercises and received an honorary degree from his alma mater.
Jim Calhoun began his coaching career at AIC, serving as an
assistant basketball coach from 1966-68. After one year as head coach of
basketball at Old Lyme High School in Connecticut, and one year as head coach of
Westport High School in Westport, MA, Jim Calhoun moved on to become head coach
at Dedham High School in Massachusetts. He quickly rebuilt the program,
fashioning a 21-1 record in 1971-72 and seeing his club advance to the State
Division I semi-finals.
In October of 1972, he moved into the collegiate coaching
ranks at Northeastern University in Boston. In the years to follow, the
Northeastern Huskies would dominate the ECAC North Atlantic Conference under his
guidance. Northeastern won the league’s regular season championship four times
and shared the top spot two other times in seven years of conference play. NU
also won five of the seven league tournaments and Coach Calhoun’s record against
conference competition in his career at NU was 74-13. While at Northeastern, he
was inducted into the NU Sports Hall of Fame.
In addition to his busy schedule as head coach of the
Connecticut basketball program, Jim Calhoun and his family are heavily involved
in a number of regional and national charitable and educational efforts.
In November of 1998, Jim Calhoun and his wife Pat began a
wide- ranging commitment to the cardiology program at the University of
Connecticut Health Center, establishing the Calhoun Cardiology Research Fund
with a $125,000 gift. In 1999, the Jim Calhoun Celebrity Classic Golf Tournament
was launched and during the past eight years more than $2.75 million has been
raised in support of the Jim and Pat Calhoun Cardiology Research Endowment Fund.
In recognition of the dedication and commitment of Jim
Calhoun and his family to cardiology research, the entire cardiology program at
the University of Connecticut Health Center has been named the "Pat and Jim
Calhoun Cardiology Center". A formal naming ceremony recognizing the on-going
work of the Calhoun family was held in the spring of 2004.
In 2006, Jim and Pat Calhoun became actively involved with
raising public awareness and research funding for Autism Speaks. The effort
seeks to expand services for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ADS)
and their families.
Since 1999, the Jim Calhoun Holiday Food Drive has supported
food assistance agencies that serve the State of Connecticut. Nearly $1 million
has been raised to help families in need throughout Connecticut and the food
drive culminates each year with Jim Calhoun, his family, and his players
personally delivering meals to hundreds of families in the Hartford area.
In both 2003 and 2004, Jim Calhoun served as celebrity host
of Coaches versus Cancer events called "Hoops For Hope". The black-tie galas
raised in excess of $400,000 for the American Cancer Society.
In June of 2007, The Big Y Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride
celebrated its first year as an annual statewide event to benefit The Carole and
Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Connecticut Health
Center and Coaches vs. Cancer, a program established in 1993 by the American
Cancer Society. The ride raised over $225,000 in the fight against cancer.
For the past 13 years, Jim Calhoun has served as Honorary
Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, helping generate in excess of $4.5
million to fund diabetes research.
Jim and Pat Calhoun have a long-standing involvement with the
Franciscan Life Center, counseling and education center operated in Meriden, CT
by the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. The Calhoun family has been involved
annually in fund-raising activities by the Franciscan Sisters. Jim Calhoun has
been honored with the "Saint Francis Award" for his dedication to Christian
values and outstanding athletic achievements and in 1998 the Franciscan Sisters
dedicated an outdoor basketball area, "Calhoun’s Court", in honor of the UConn
head coach at the Franciscan Life Center in Meriden.
Coach Calhoun has also served as an Honorary
Chairperson/Director for several other charitable programs including the Ronald
McDonald House Kids Classic Golf Tournament, the Ray of Hope Foundation Golf
Tournament, the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Children’s Miracle
Network, and the "Character Counts" program in the state of Connecticut.
In 2004, Jim Calhoun was the first recipient of an award by
the Swim Across The Sound Prostate Cancer Institute and he now serves as the
Honorary Chairman for that group’s fund-raising efforts.
In October of 2005, the University of Connecticut Alumni
Association recognized Jim Calhoun’s two decades of outstanding contributions at
UConn by honoring Coach Calhoun with its "Honorary Alumni Award".
In the fall of 1999, Jim Calhoun completed work on a book.
"Dare To Dream-Connecticut Basketball’s Remarkable March To The National
Championship" is a first person account by Coach Calhoun of his life as a
college coach with specific focus on the 1998-99 season. Working with Coach
Calhoun on the book was Leigh Montville, a former senior writer at Sports
Illustrated and a UConn graduate.
A graduate of Braintree (MA) High School, Jim Calhoun was a
three-sport letter winner in football, basketball and baseball. As a senior
captain, he earned All-Bay State League honors in football and basketball. His
hometown of Braintree has bestowed a singular honor on Coach Calhoun, naming
outdoor basketball courts in a city facility "Calhoun Park". He continues to
return to Braintree to speak and conduct basketball clinics for area youths.
Born May 10, 1942 in Braintree, MA, Jim Calhoun and his wife
Pat live in Pomfret, Connecticut. They have two sons, James and Jeffrey. James
and his wife Jennifer live in Pasadena, California with daughters, Emily (born
3/5/99) and Katie (born 12/29/00) and a son Sam (born 6/8/03). Jeffrey and his
wife Amy live in Glastonbury, Connecticut with daughters Avery (born 1/26/02),
Reese (born 4/7/03) and Peyton (born 3/26/05).