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Friday, Sep. 14, 2012
Huskies head coach Calhoun expected to retire
NEW YORK — Jim Calhoun has spent more than half his life as a head basketball coach, never venturing far from the New England area where he was born.
Between coaching stints at Northeastern and Connecticut, he racked up 873 wins — 625 of them coming at his beloved UConn, where he ran the men's program for 26 years and won three national titles.
Recently, though, the 70-year-old Hall of Famer has struggled with health problems, including a fractured hip last month that put him on crutches. On Thursday, he planned to announce his retirement, a person familiar with the decision told AP.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Calhoun's move had not yet been made public. WVIT-TV in Hartford, Connecticut, first reported the expected announcement.
Assistant coach Kevin Ollie was expected to replace Calhoun, the person who spoke to the AP said.
Ollie will take over a Huskies team that is ineligible for the 2013 NCAA tournament because of its failure to meet national academic standards, one of several off-court problems that hit UConn late in Calhoun's tenure.
Before fracturing his hip, Calhoun fought off cancer three times and missed eight games last season while suffering from a painful spinal condition. He returned just four days after having back surgery to coach the Huskies in their regular-season finale and the postseason.
UConn finished the year 20-14, losing to Iowa State in the first-round of the NCAA tournament.
In addition to his medical leave, Calhoun served a three-game suspension at the start of the Big East season last winter for failing to maintain an atmosphere of compliance in his program with NCAA rules, an issue that dated back to recruiting violations in 2008.
A native of Braintree, Massachusetts, Calhoun played college basketball at American International in Springfield, where he was a team captain and leading scorer his junior and senior years.
After graduating in 1968, he began his head coaching career at Old Lyme High School in Connecticut, before moving back to Massachusetts where he coached at Westport High School and then Dedham High School.
He led Dedham to a 21-1 record in 1972, and was hired as head coach at Northeastern.
Calhoun spent the next 14 years at the school, leading the team from Division II program, to a mid-major power with five appearances in the NCAA tournament.
Calhoun was then hired by UConn in May 1986 and won an NIT title in his second season. His teams won 10 Big East regular-season championships and seven Big East Tournament titles over his tenure.
Notre Dame to ACC
CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina — Notre Dame got everything it wanted and the Atlantic Coast Conference got Notre Dame.
The school announced Wednesday that it would join the ACC in all sports except football, though it will play five games annually against league programs and have access to its non-BCS bowl tie-ins. It's unclear exactly when the Irish will leave the Big East for its non-football sports.
"I don't think there's out there a better situation than the situation we have," said the Rev. John I. Jenkins, Notre Dame's president. "The ACC has allowed us to retain a tradition (of football independence) that's so central to our identity in football while we're joining a conference that athletically as well as academically fits Notre Dame perfectly."