By PAT EATON-ROBB, Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Former Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun revealed on Monday that he had surgery in May to remove an apparent cancerous growth from his lungs.
Calhoun mentioned the surgery Monday while taping an episode of YES Network’s Center Stage with Michael Kay in New York.
Calhoun told YES that doctors removed the growth, concerned it might be related to a previous skin cancer.
Reached later by telephone, Calhoun was asked to clarify whether
the growth was cancer.
“It was cancer-related, yes,” he told The Associated Press.
“I’m not going to talk about it. I was out for a day and a half.
I’m completely healthy now.”
Calhoun, who also had spinal surgery in February, retired in
September weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured hip
suffered in an August bicycling accident.
The three surgeries “took a toll on my body,” Calhoun told
YES, “and I was tired. Now, the energy level I feel is much
The 70-year-old Calhoun, who is still using a cane while
recovering from that surgery, also told YES that he has not
completely ruled out a return to coaching.
“I would never say never,” Calhoun told YES.
Calhoun was 873-380 in 40 seasons as a head coach, 26 of them at
Connecticut, the other 14 at Northeastern.
Calhoun led UConn to national titles in 1999, 2004 and 2001, an
NIT championship in 1988, 10 Big East regular-season championships
and seven Big East Tournament titles. He was inducted into the
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005.
But along the way, he suffered from a string of health problems.
He is a three-time cancer survivor, overcoming prostate cancer
in 2003 and skin cancer twice, most recently in 2008. He missed 29
games over his 40-year career because of various medical conditions
and had to leave another 11 games for medical reasons.
Calhoun missed eight games last season because of the effects of
spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spine, normally associated with
aging and sometimes with arthritis, which led to surgery to have a
disk fragment removed from his spine.
He returned to the sideline just five days after that operation.
Calhoun is currently serving as a special assistant to the
athletic director at UConn, and among other things is helping raise
money for the school to build a $40-million training facility, with
construction slated to begin in the spring.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)