This is hardly surprising, at least for people who following the Huskies closely, but according to ESPN.com's Andy Katz, just-retired coach Jim Calhoun is still very much involved with the university and the basketball program.
Athletic director Warde Manuel announced last month that Calhoun would serve as an assistant to the AD through the spring, and Calhoun has been available to former players in the weeks since he officially hung it up.
But it's more than just chat sessions in his office. Katz reports that Calhoun has had a presence at workouts in the days leading up to the start of the season.
UConn coach Kevin Ollie said Wednesday night that his predecessor, Jim Calhoun, has been at most of the individual and team workouts leading up to Friday's start of practice. Ollie, who was at the Jimmy V Classic dinner at New York City's Pier Sixty, said that Calhoun -- still recovering from hip surgery -- has been taking notes and waving his cane around to illustrate his points.
Katz also noted that Calhoun is "aggressively rehabbing from his injury," and that Calhoun gives Ollie his space when he's "going over team issues so as not to distract the players." But Ollie added that it's good for the players to see Calhoun actively contributing.
UConn officials also confirmed that Calhoun, as he announced last week, plans to make the trip to Germany for UConn's season opener against Michigan St. at Ramstein Air Base on November 9.
So is this a case of a man whose love for basketball can't keep him away? Sure seems like it. But we also wonder how Manuel feels about this. After all, the athletic director said from the beginning that there wouldn't be a coach-in-waiting once Calhoun retired. Of course, Calhoun stepping down in September made it impossible for the school to conduct a proper search for his replacement and Ollie was awarded the job through March.
What happens this spring will rest largely on how Ollie performs over the next five months, but if Manuel thinks it's time to put the Calhoun era behind us, he could choose to find a permanent replacement from outside the program.