Two years ago, Kevin Ollie was still an assistant coach under Jim Calhoun. Now he's the coach of the defending national champion Huskies, has signed a deal that will keep him in Storrs after NBA suitors were lining up for his services and, according to ESPN.com, he's the No. 10 coach in the country.
Pretty heady stuff, and it just goes to show you how quickly things can change (if nothing else, this should give us all hope for the UConn football team).
Via ESPN.com's Eamonn Brennan:
Ollie ranks No. 10 on our ESPN Forecast top 50 coaches list, and you might argue that he should go higher. After all, we have just a two-year sample size, and has anybody done a better coaching job the last two years?
Think about it: Last season, his first as a head coach at any level, Ollie inherited a team that knew from the start of the year that it wouldn't go to the NCAA tournament. Because of things the UConn coaching staff did long before any of those players arrived in Storrs, the entire unifying competitive principle of college basketball no longer applied to Ollie's squad. If ever there was a team that had good reason to take a year off, it was that one. We all would have understood.
Ollie ranked ahead of legendary coaches like Roy Williams and Jim Boeheim and that's after just two seasons. Which brings us back to our favorite point from the ESPN.com piece:
"What's crazy is that I'm not sure which season was my favorite coaching job," Brennan gushed. "Ollie was magnificent in the tournament, his team a picture of collective confidence and, you know, UConn won the whole thing. But I can't help but feel like it was his first season that was his true masterpiece, in similarly understated ways. Two seasons, two very different kinds of successes."