Connecticut Public Figures On Jim Calhoun
Governor Dannel Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman today released the following statements in response to Jim Calhoun’s announcement this afternoon that he is retiring as coach of the UConn men’s basketball team after 26 seasons with the university.
Governor Malloy said, “There are many things that make UConn a top university, including the basketball team that Coach Calhoun built into a national powerhouse, winning three national championships. His retirement marks the end of an era, and I wish him well in the next chapter of his life.”
“I have come to know Jim Calhoun not just as a basketball coach, but as a man committed to helping others whenever he can,” Lt. Governor Wyman said. “To me, the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center and his annual bike ride against cancer are as much part of his legacy as his incredible achievements on the basketball court. His great drive and determination should be a lasting example for all of us, and he will be dearly missed.”
Women’s Head Coach Geno Auriemma
The great success achieved by the UConn men’s basketball program under Jim Calhoun’s leadership helped propel the University of Connecticut onto the national stage. His contributions to this University have been positive and will be long lasting. I want to take this opportunity to wish Jim Calhoun all my best in a long, happy and healthy retirement.
I have always admired Kevin Ollie as a person and as a player and know that he will make the most of this opportunity. He has had great success in everything he has done and I am confident this will be no exception.
Senator Joe Lieberman
“Coach Jim Calhoun has transformed the UConn Huskies over the last 26 years from an occasional regional contender to one of the best programs in the history of basketball. His extraordinary skill as a coach, his passion for winning, his ability to mentor and motivate young men, and the sense of pride that he has inspired in all of us in Connecticut will be his lasting legacy. Coach Jim Calhoun is a man for the ages.
“I want to commend Coach Calhoun for his innumerable accomplishments as head coach for the University of Connecticut men’s basketball program, and thank him for his friendship. I wish Jim and Pat Calhoun all the best in their future endeavors.”
Senator Richard Blumenthal
(Washington, DC) – Today, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following statement on the retirement of University of Connecticut men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun: Coach Calhoun leaves a lasting legend and legacy – instilling and inspiring excellence on the court and leading causes involving cancer and autism. He has been a relentless competitor, with an unmatched winning record, but he has been a champion off the court in his personal courage as a cancer survivor and victim advocate. I wish him well in this next chapter of his remarkable life – and welcome and wish good luck to his successor Kevin Ollie.
Congressman Joe Courtney
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Joe Courtney today released the following statement after UConn head basketball coach Jim Calhoun announced his retirement:
“Coach Calhoun’s footprint in Connecticut will last for ages. His three national championships transformed our state’s self image into one of a winner, and his decades of acts of charity and kindness to those in need have touched countless lives. Most recently, he also led the charge for reform of the basketball program’s academic system, which has already produced dramatic improvement in the past two years.
“Coach Calhoun and his wife Pat have done all this while at the same time maintaining a strong and tight-knit family that is an example for us all. Bravo Coach. Your work and your record have made us proud of our state and proud to be Huskies.”
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill
Hartford: Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today released the following statement reacting to the retirement of University of Connecticut Men’s Basketball Coach Jim Calhoun. Merrill represented district No. 54 in the Connecticut General Assembly which included the University of Connecticut at Storrs from 1994-2011.
“The retirement of Jim Calhoun really represents the end of an era both for the University of Connecticut and for our entire state. Jim and I have been good friends and we worked closely together in all the years I represented UConn in the Connecticut General Assembly, and we will all miss him dearly. In fact, it is hard to imagine UConn basketball without Jim Calhoun. But more than one of the best coaches ever in the history of American basketball and a mentor to many young men, we really must recognize that Jim Calhoun’s work to build UConn as a national basketball powerhouse also mirrored the rise of UConn as a world-class academic and research institution. Though it’s not all about sports, Jim Calhoun’s consistently winning teams and national championships were certainly a galvanizing factor in attracting top research faculty and investment to the university over the years. The excellent play on the court has put UConn on the national and international map, and given Connecticut citizens a real sense of pride in their state university, especially resonating with the public in a state with no professional sports teams. This higher profile certainly helped us pass investments in the university such as UConn 2000 and helped to attract countless other federal and other grants to explore research in many fields. So it is with a deep sense of gratitude that we wish Jim Calhoun a fond farewell and happy retirement, we will never forget you or all you have done to build our university. GO HUSKIES!”
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro
“Jim Calhoun helped transform UConn’s men’s basketball program into the class of the Big East and one of the very best in the country. The hundreds of young men he not only coached, but also positively shaped, over the past 26 years will surely remember all that Coach Calhoun taught them on—and even more importantly off—the court. And beyond his wins and championships, Coach Calhoun gave back to his community, particularly through his work supporting cancer research, the Ronald McDonald House and many other causes. I look forward to seeing new coach Kevin Ollie, who has already accomplished so much at UConn, and his teams continue Coach’s legacy for years to come and wish Coach Calhoun the best in his future endeavors.
State Senate President Donald Williams
“Jim Calhoun is one of the great coaches of all time — he put Connecticut men’s basketball on the national map. His tradition of excellence won national championships and his gifts to charity touched lives both at UCONN and throughout our state. My heartfelt thanks go out to Jim and his wife Pat. I congratulate him on a wonderful career and wish him well in retirement.”
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra
“While we knew this announcement would someday come, it is still somewhat surreal. As a University of Connecticut graduate, I join with fellow alumni – past, present and future – in saying thank you to Coach Calhoun for all that he has done for the University, for Storrs, for the City of Hartford and for the State of Connecticut. For many UCONN fans, Coach Calhoun is all they have ever known.
Connecticut’s Capitol City and the XL Center have been home to numerous dramatic victories – and we hope many, many more – and I would be remiss if I didn’t also thank the Coach for his work during the holidays in providing food to Hartford families in need.
Coach Calhoun has more than 40 years of basketball coaching experience, starting at Northeastern University and finishing the last 26 years of his coaching career at Uconn. He is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, has more than 870 victories (a lifetime winning percentage of over .700) and won 3 National Championships, 7 Big East Tournament and 4 America East Championships during his tenure. He has produced 27 NBA players, including Reggie Lewis, Ray Allen, Caron Butler, Richard “RIP” Hamilton, Emeka Okafor, Ben Gordon, Rudy Gay and Kemba Walker.