Jim Calhoun might be the toughest person on the planet. He's twice beaten cancer and in August, the 70-year-old Hall of Famer fractured his hip in a cycling accident. On Monday, the retired Huskies coach told the YES Network that he had surgery in May to remove what appeared to be a cancerous growth on his lungs. Doctors thought the growth might be related to previous skin cancer.
"It was cancer-related, yes," he told the Associated Press. "I'm not going to talk about it. I was out for a day and a half. I'm completely healthy now."
Calhoun also had spinal surgery last February, and the three surgeries (including the one this fall on his hip), was enough to push the coach into retirement after 26 years with the Huskies.
"The three surgeries "took a toll on my body," Calhoun told YES (via TheDay.com), "and I was tired. Now, the energy level I feel is much different."
Calhoun was asked if he might consider returning to the bench. Anyone half-paying attention to his career won't be surprised by his answer.
"I would never say never," he told YES before adding: “I haven’t thought about it. … The situation would have to be right …”
Also not surprising, Calhoun's frankness (via the Hartford Courant): “Do I think I might be coaching next year? No,” he said, “I don’t think my wife would let me. You know me, I don’t really have a filter.”
Calhoun also weighed in on Geno Auriemma's prospects as a mens coach: “I would like to see him try,” Calhoun said. “With the things he does with his players, he does some great stuff, yes, he could. … I think he has that swagger, the way he truly understands the game, I think it would be very interesting.”
He also spoke about the current conference upheaval and how the Huskies seem to be on the outside looking in.
“There will be four or five major conferences,” he said, “and I am one of the a true believers -- they will recognize what UConn offers.” Calhoun pointed out that the Huskies weren't the Big East's first choice either but got in after another school declined. “So it doesn’t matter if you’re some conference’s second choice, or third choice or fifth choice.”