NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 06: Head coach Jim Calhoun of the Connecticut Huskies reacts against the DePaul Blue Demons during their first round game of the 2012 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 6, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim Calhoun will announce his future plans in the next two weeks, and that might mean retiring before the season starts according to an SI.com story that hints UConn's head coach might be on his way out. The article doesn't say which way he is leaning though Mark Blaudschun, its author and a friend of Calhoun's hints that he suspects Calhoun is ready to hang it up after 25 years in Storrs.
Here's a relevant excerpt:
Calhoun says that he has not made up his mind, but his manner suggests something different. He is more relaxed, at peace with what he has done and what he still wants to do.
"I would be very, very surprised if I didn't have something to say within the next two weeks,'' he said as he talks more about the past than the future. Calhoun said he has not decided whether or not to retire, but he sounds like he might be ready to step away. Although the competitive part of him thinks he could coach for another two years, the practical side realizes that this might be time.
Calhoun says he has waffled on his decision on whether or not to return for months. "Depends on how I feel sometimes," he said. "But I'm very close to knowing. I'm just going to wake up one morning and I will know what is the right thing to do. I always said if I ever come here and say, 'Jeez I'm not sure, I will know it's time.'''
From the article it's tough to tell what Calhoun may do, and it is hard to imagine the notoriously stubborn coach walking away and giving the public the chance to think it was because of the NCAA and his recent bike injury, but walking away now would have its benefits. First and foremost, retiring this late in the offseason would essentially force new athletic director Warde Manuel to name Kevin Ollie as interim head coach -- there simply wouldn't be any other options. Second, a depleted roster and an NCAA ban would likely buy Ollie a bit of extra time to ease into the job.
Still, I have a hard time seeing Calhoun leaving.
That is especially true because I really cannot imagine him hinting at his plans to retire two weeks before he actually did it. Plus he said last year he was motivated to come back to finish out his three-game NCAA suspension. I'm not sure he wants to start Ollie off with the NCAA looming over him. Now don't get me wrong, I almost expect Calhoun to retire at an inconvenient time to box Manuel into hiring Ollie, I'm just not sure it will be this year, especially when even Calhoun admits he might have a few more years in him:
Calhoun is asked again about the future and what he might do. "I know I will have enough to do no matter what happens,'' he said. "If I come back, I might coach another couple of years. I know I have got to have something to wake up to in the morning to get me going each day."