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Comments on Head Coach Jim Calhoun's Retirement

Sept. 13, 2012

Calhoun Retirement Central

BIG EAST Commissioner Mike Aresco
"The BIG EAST Conference congratulates Jim Calhoun on his Hall of Fame career.  His contributions to the University of Connecticut in basketball and to the University in general are enormous and lasting.  He built and maintained an outstanding program for almost three decades.  Jim has been a winner at the highest level during that period.  His passion for the game and for his players has been unmatched.  Jim Calhoun has always been proud to compete in the BIG EAST.  We wish Jim and his wife Pat only the best in retirement."

Former BIG EAST Commissioner Mike Tranghese
"What Jim Calhoun built at Connecticut will be one of the lasting legacies of The BIG EAST Conference.  He brought the UConn program from nothing to winning three national championships.  I know he loved competing in the BIG EAST because he always wanted to go against the best.  I think no one loved winning the BIG EAST Tournament in Madison Square Garden more than Jim Calhoun."

Head UConn Women's Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma
The great success achieved by the UConn men's basketball program under Jim Calhoun's leadership helped propel the University of Connecticut onto the national stage.  His contributions to this University have been positive and will be long lasting.  I want to take this opportunity to wish Jim Calhoun all my best in a long, happy and healthy retirement. 

I have always admired Kevin Ollie as a person and as a player and know that he will make the most of this opportunity.  He has had great success in everything he has done and I am confident this will be no exception.

Head UConn Football Coach Paul Pasqualoni
“Obviously, Coach Calhoun is a great coach and everyone will miss him here for what he has done. He is a legendary coach and a tough person and a guy I have tremendous respect for. He has won everyplace he has been and he won early. His teams never stopped getter better. It’s one thing in sports to get to elevate your program and reach the top, but a whole other thing to keep it there. What I admire about Jim Calhoun are the same things I admired about Tom Osborne at Nebraksa. They got their programs to the highest level and kept them there. That is the true sign of greatness to me.”

Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
"Jim has been absolutely incredible. He's an amazing competitor and clearly one of the best coaches ever. For 40 years as a college head coach, his teams played with his spirit and the results were unmistakable -- championship level performances. He is a true giant in our game and a dear friend. Certainly, he will be missed."

North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams
“Jim is one of basketball’s most competitive coaches and his ability to get his teams to play hard every game made him one of the finest we’ve ever known. He’s a friend and I’ll miss competing against his teams and seeing him on the recruiting trail. He has left an enormous legacy at Connecticut, one that he was so instrumental in building. I truly admire the fact that he built his Hall of Fame coaching career from the ground up and retires as one of the giants in our game. I will really miss him.”

Former St. John's Head Coach Lou Carnesecca
"Jim Calhoun will be missed. He is a great coach who built that program into a basketball powerhouse. His fans and his players will sorely miss him. He did a great job."

Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim
"When you take over Connecticut, where they were 26 years ago - I think it's the best building job in college basketball history. The thing about Jim Calhoun's teams - they were tough-minded just like he is. He's a great basketball coach. There is no question in my mind he's been underrated as a coach."

Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
"The thing I love about Jim Calhoun is that he always says what's on his mind. He also possesses the ability to be tough and demanding one second, and hug a player the very next. That's an important quality for any successful coach, and he was one of the best at it. I love when a successful coach can go out on his own terms, and I'm happy that Jim is doing this his way and is at peace with his decision. I also applaud the University for their support of Jim and allowing him to make this decision."

Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino
"Our teams have competed against Jim Calhoun teams all the way back to his Northeastern day.  They always played hard and with great purpose.  I personally will miss competing against his teams."

Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright
"Jim Calhoun was always willing to be a mentor to me from my earliest days as a head coach at Hofstra University. His advice was especially helpful to me at the Final Four in 2009. He is one of the all-time greats in our profession."

Former Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson, Jr.
"I want to congratulate Jimmy on a tremendous career.  He will be dearly missed by all the coaches in the profession."

Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey
"I always will be grateful for the relationship that I have in this profession with Jim Calhoun.  When I came into this league 13 years, he took me aside, gave me advice and taught me a lot.  I also appreciated that he took the time to talk with me.  He is someone who has become a great friend to me in this business.  I have the ultimate respect for what he has accomplished as a Hall of Fame coach."

Temple Head Coach Fran Dunphy
"Congratulations to Jim Calhoun on an absolutely remarkable career done `his way'."

Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin
"It was an honor and privilege to coach against coach Calhoun the past six years. I have great respect for him as a man as well as his accomplishments on the court. I wish him well in his retirement and will miss competing against him."

Former Georgia Tech and College of Charleston Head Coach Bobby Cremins
"I'm very happy for Jim. He deserves a great retirement for everything he has accomplished in his coaching career and everything he has done for the game of basketball. I've always admired his competitive nature and his teams always showed that competitiveness every time they took the court. Now that I'm retired, I'm looking forward to beating him in golf, although I still need two a side."

Providence College Associate Head Coach Andre LaFleur
“I can call him Dad just as easily as I can call him Coach.  And so could many of us that played for him that had fathers.  The life lessons he taught me far outweigh anything he taught me on the court.  The importance of family, marriage, fatherhood, and giving back were lessons that will always be a part of my life.  I am blessed to have been around him for over 30 years as a player, coach, son and friend.  What a great career and well deserving to a great man.”