Connecticut head basketball coach Jim Calhoun reacts duriung a news conference in Storrs, Conn., Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Calhoun, who built Connecticut into a basketball power and coached the Huskies to three national titles, announced his retirement. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Before looking forward it's sometime important to look back. The trick is to not get caught reminiscing about the past while the future passes you by. We're guessing new Huskies coach Kevin Ollie won't let that happen. In the meantime, we'll take one more look reactions from around the basketball world to Jim Calhoun's retirement.
Jim Boeheim (asked if Calhoun's retirement or the announcement of Notre Dame moving to the ACC was a bigger surprise): “Double surprise on a scale of 1-10," he said during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show (via SportsRadioInterviews.com). "They are both about a ten in terms of surprises. I thought Notre Dame would not go anywhere. I did not think a league would take them unless they came all the way in and I think the ACC decided that Notre Dame would be good just the way they are. I know they are going to play some games against league teams, so I think it’s interesting. It’s an interesting move and we’ll see how it all plays out down the road.
"The landscape changed, so much in college sports that you can’t be surprised really by anything, but that was a surprise I think a little bit. Jim Calhoun retiring probably was more of a surprise because I thought he would coach until he was probably, maybe 80 at least. I think the thing with Jim Calhoun you have to look at when you take over Duke or Kentucky and you win that’s a good thing. That’s a great coaching job. When you take over Connecticut and where they were 26 years ago and win three national championships, I think it’s…to me it’s the best building job in college basketball history. The only one I can compare it to would be Lute Olson at Arizona in terms of taking a program that was not heard of on the national scene and make it a national contender. I think he’s an underrated program builder and a coach.”
Former player Scott Burrell: (via the Hartford Courant) "[Calhoun] might coach in a wheelchair if he didn't decide to do this. ... What else could he do? He's won three national championships, he's been successful. He'd done everything he's been asked to do here. He brought UConn to the next level, to the highest level ..."
Former player Kemba Walker on Kevin Ollie: "KO has been through it all. He's one of the people that you would love to get advice from. Whatever KO told me, I made sure that I was submerged in it and I soaked it all in. That's why I'm where I'm at today."
And finally, Calhoun on Calhoun. During an interview with WFAN's Mike Francesa, Calhoun was asked if he had any regrets:
“I don’t have regrets," he said. "I wish a couple things hadn’t happened the way they happened. That’s in everybody’s career. If you and I went around the country today, we’d be shocked about a couple of the schools’ names that are in the paper today. They don’t normally get in the paper for those kinds of things because mistakes happen. But some of those mistakes, you and I both know, can’t be averted. That’s the society that we live in today. … But the mistakes weren’t of venom, the mistakes weren’t of malice, they were always well-intended. … I always tried to do the best I possibly could.”