Kevin Ollie said it all along: He wasn't leaving UConn -- sentiments echoed by his mentor and predecessor, Jim Calhoun, in recent days -- and on Monday, Yahoo.com reported that the university awarded the second-year coach a shiny new contract that would pay him approximately $3 million annually.
The deal, which is for five years, could be worth more than $15 million. Last season, Ollie made roughly $1.4 million. His new contract more than doubles his salary.
In recent days, there was a report that the Cleveland Cavaliers wanted Ollie, and another report that suggested Ollie would want to be paid more than $5 million per season, based on what Golden St. was giving Steve Kerr, its newest coach who has no previous coaching experience.
But Ollie, who reiterated late last week his desire to remain in Storrs, is doing just that.
“Like I always say, I am here with UConn right now and trying to work things out with our great university,” he said Friday. “I am UConn made and I want to be here for a long time.”
And Calhoun said over the weekend that while it's nice to be pursued, he never expected Ollie to leave.
"He’d be foolish if he didn’t explore,” Calhoun said, via the New Haven Register's David Borges, “but I think he’s going to be the coach at UConn. Kevin needs to weigh everything at the time – how you feel, what’s right for your family, what’s right for you, what the future holds. I’m sure Kevin doesn’t want to go through this every year. UConn’s gonna be UConn, and they’re gonna pay him exceptionally well.”
And that's exactly what happened. Added bonus: UConn's recruiting should benefit, too.
"In a bizarre sort of way. kids may like that a guy they may go for is being though of so well in the NBA," Calhoun said. "For these kids, the NBA is the end-all.”