Kevin Ollie played at UConn. Kevin Ollie graduated from UConn. Kevin Ollie returned to UConn to coach. Kevin Ollie loves UConn. And now UConn loves him back. This afternoon the school will announce that it's given Ollie a five-year contract extension, which will keep him prowling the UConn sidelines through at least 2018. The deal is reportedly worth $7 million, with incentives.
It goes without saying that I love this move. I've been a massive fan of Ollie since his opening press conference, where he wowed the crowd by promising that he was going to take the Huskies back to the top of the basketball world, no matter how hard it may be. He was only given a seven-month deal to start, but vowed that it wouldn't keep him down. He had worked on shorter contracts before, grinding our a long career in the NBA. The challenges of this year -- an NCAA ban and a depleted roster -- wouldn't stop him either. UConn was going to take the stairs he said, not the escalator, because escalators are for cowards.
While, he's only taken the first handful of those stairs as UConn's coach, but I couldn't be more thrilled to know he's going to have at least five years to walk up the rest of them.
Kevin Ollie is the basketball team's coach, but at a basketball-mad university he's much, much more than that. He's a leader for the school and as an alum, I couldn't be more proud to say he's coaching my school's team. This is a great day for Ollie, and for UConn, and is a great way to end 2012 and start the school rolling toward new heights in 2013. Go Huskies.