NEW YORK – UConn Hall of Fame former basketball coach Jim Calhoun will be honored Thursday with a Lou Gehrig Sports Award, presented by the Greater New York Chapter of The ALS Association.
Calhoun will receive the award at the 23rd Annual Lou Gehrig Sports Award Benefit, with dinner and ceremonies scheduled for Thursday night at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan. Also receiving Gehrig Awards are ex-New York Giants star Antrel Rolle and former NFL player Tim Shaw, who is currently battling ALS. The Jacob K. Javits Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to commissioner of baseball Rob Manfred. National sports broadcaster Jeremy Schaap will serve as master of ceremonies.
Calhoun, who built a struggling UConn basketball program into a three-time NCAA national champion under his tenure, won 625 games at UConn (873 overall) in 26 years with the Huskies and the previous 14 at Northeastern. His UConn teams won a record seven Big East Tournament championships as well as 10 Big East regular-season crowns.
Upon his retirement in 2012, he ranked No. 6 on the all-time NCAA Division I coaching wins list (873), No. 5 in all-time NCAA Tournament wins (49), and No. 3 in 30-win seasons (8). Since his retirement, Calhoun has served as a special advisor to the athletic director at UConn.
Well-known for his charity work, Calhoun has helped raise over $8 million for cardiac disease research through him Jim Calhoun Celebrity Classic and has been a champion fund-raiser for numerous other causes, such as cancer research, autism and juvenile diabetes.
The ALS Association calls Calhoun “one of America’s most admired coaches and a Hall of Famer, who personifies Lou Gehrig’s spirit of leadership, determination and talent,” who is the “perfect recipient of this important award.”
Past winners of the Lou Gehrig Sports Award include legendary sports figures Muhammad Ali, Sandy Koufax, Yogi Berra, Dave DeBusschere, Chris Evert, John McEnroe, Dan Marino, Phil Simms, Michael Strahan, Mariano Rivera, and Joe Torre.
The event has become the premier ALS fundraiser in the country, projected to raise more than $1 million for global research to find a treatment and cure for ALS.