Jim Calhoun

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Jim Calhoun
Jim Calhoun.jpg
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamSaint Joseph (CT)
Biographical details
Born (1942-05-10) May 10, 1942 (age 78)
Braintree, Massachusetts
Playing career
1965–1968American International
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
2018–presentSaint Joseph (CT)
Head coaching record
Overall915–395 (.698)
Tournaments50–19 (NCAA Division I)
0–1 (NCAA Division III)
Accomplishments and honors
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2005 (profile)
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

James A. Calhoun (born May 10, 1942)[1] is the men's basketball coach for the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut.[2] Calhoun is the former head coach of the University of Connecticut men's basketball team. His teams won three NCAA national championships (1999, 2004, 2011), played in four Final Fours (most recently in 2011), won the 1988 NIT title, and seven Big East tournament championships (1990, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2011). With his team's 2011 NCAA title win, the 68-year-old Calhoun became the oldest coach to win a Division I men's basketball title.[3] He won his 800th game in 2009 and finished his NCAA Division I career with 873 victories, ranking 11th all-time as of February 2019. Calhoun is one of only six coaches in NCAA Division I history to win three or more championships, and is widely considered one of the greatest coaches of all time.[4][5] In 2005, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.


A self-described Irish Catholic,[6] Calhoun was born and raised in Braintree, Massachusetts, where he was a standout on the basketball, football, and baseball teams at Braintree High School. After his father died of a heart attack when Calhoun was 15, he was left to watch over his large family that included five siblings.

Early career and education[edit]

Although he received a basketball scholarship to Lowell State, he only attended the school for three months after which he returned home to help support his mother and siblings. He worked as a granite cutter, headstone engraver, scrapyard worker, shampoo factory worker, and gravedigger.

After a 20-month leave from higher education, Calhoun returned to college, this time at American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he was given another basketball scholarship. He was the leading scorer on the team his junior and senior seasons, and captained the team in his final year, during which AIC advanced to the Division II playoffs. At the time he graduated, he was ranked as the fourth all-time scorer at AIC. Calhoun graduated in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in sociology.[7]

Coaching career[edit]

High school[edit]

Jim Calhoun began his coaching career at Lyme-Old Lyme High School in Old Lyme, Connecticut in the 1968–1969 season after accepting a sixth grade teaching position in that town over the summer. After finishing 1–17 that season, Calhoun returned to Massachusetts after deciding not to complete the necessary certification paperwork to renew his teaching contract (he was certified in Massachusetts and working in Conn. only on a temporary certificate). After one season at Westport (Massachusetts) High, he accepted a position at Dedham High School and began building a very strong program. He completed a 20–1 season in 1971.

In 1972 he helped his Dedham High School team have a perfect season (18–0) and win the Massachusetts High School Bay State Championship.


Calhoun was recruited by Northeastern University in Boston to serve as their new head coach. He took the position in October 1972. He transitioned the team from Division II to Division I in 1979.

The team advanced to the Division I tournament 4 times under Calhoun. During his final three seasons, Northeastern achieved automatic bids to the NCAA tournament and had a 72–19 record. He received six regional Coach of the Year accolades at Northeastern and remains the institution's all-time winningest coach (245–138).

Former Boston Celtics captain Reggie Lewis, who played for Calhoun at Northeastern, was a first-round pick in the 1987 NBA draft.


On May 14, 1986, Calhoun was named the head coach at the University of Connecticut. After completing his first season just 9–19, Calhoun led the Huskies to a 20–14 record in 1988 and a bid to National Invitation Tournament, where they defeated Ohio State to win the NIT championship. In 1990, Calhoun was named the consensus National Coach of the Year after leading the Huskies to their first Big East championship, the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, and a 29–6 record in only his fourth year at the helm.

Calhoun won his first NCAA national championship in 1999, as he led UConn to its first Final Four and national championship over favored Duke in St. Petersburg, Florida. Future NBA standout Richard "Rip" Hamilton led the team to a 77–74 victory. Earlier that year, he'd passed Hugh Greer to become the winningest coach in UConn history.

Calhoun led the Huskies to another national championship in 2004, at the conclusion of a season that saw UConn start and complete the year as the number one team in the nation. UConn standouts Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon were selected No. 2 and No. 3 in the NBA Draft, respectively. Calhoun now holds a 35–12 record with UConn in NCAA tournament play including 6–1 in the Final Four. They lost in the first round for the first time on March 21, 2008 in overtime to San Diego.

During the Jim Calhoun era, the UConn Huskies have done well in the Big East Conference with an impressive 220–112 record (.665 winning percentage). The Huskies have won or shared conference titles in 1990, 1994–1996, 1998–1999, 2002, 2003 and 2005–2006. UConn has also won seven Big East Men's Basketball Tournament championships in 1990, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, and 2011.

On March 2, 2005, he achieved his 700th win at Gampel Pavilion over the Georgetown Hoyas. His friend and Big East rival coach Jim Boeheim also won his 700th game during the previous week. Later in 2005, Coach Calhoun was honored by induction into the Dr. James Naismith National Basketball Hall of Fame, fittingly, along with Jim Boeheim. On February 25, 2009, he achieved his 800th win at the Bradley Center over Marquette.

Calhoun was the first coach in NCAA history to have won at least 240 games at two different Division I schools.[8] Eddie Sutton later achieved this same feat.

Calhoun has coached 23 UConn players who have moved on to professional ranks.[9]

Calhoun signed a 5-year, $16 million contract until 2014.[10]

On April 4, 2011, Calhoun won his 3rd NCAA Men's Championship as the Connecticut Huskies defeated the Butler Bulldogs 53–41. The victory over Butler made Calhoun, at 68, the oldest coach to win an NCAA Division I men's basketball title. With the win, Calhoun joined John Wooden, Adolph Rupp, Bob Knight, and Mike Krzyzewski as the only coaches to win at least 3 national championships.

On September 13, 2012, Calhoun announced his retirement and the head coaching position was given to assistant coach Kevin Ollie, who eventually was named the permanent head coach.


In March 2009, the NCAA investigated potential violations in UConn's recruitment of Nate Miles (a scholarship recipient expelled without playing a single game for the Huskies).[11] The NCAA eventually determined that a former UConn team manager, who was attempting to become an NBA agent, helped guide Miles to UConn by giving him lodging, transportation and meals. The former team manager, Josh Nochimson, was deemed a UConn representative under NCAA rules and his actions were therefore ascribed to UConn. As a result, in February 2011, Calhoun was cited by the NCAA for failing to create an atmosphere of compliance, and suspended for the first three Big East games of 2011–2012 season. The NCAA's chairman of the Committee on Infractions stated, after the penalty was announced, that "[t]he head coach should be aware, but, also in the same frame, the head coach obviously cannot be aware of everything that goes on within the program. However, the head coach bears that responsibility."[12] The school admitted that it had committed major NCAA violations.[13]

Former players[edit]

Thirty-one of Coach Calhoun's former players moved on to professional careers in the National Basketball Association, the Continental Basketball Association, or other national and international leagues: (with draft team from earliest to most recent)

  1. 1982: Perry Moss - Washington Bullets, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors
  2. 1987: Reggie LewisBoston Celtics
  3. 1989: Clifford RobinsonPortland Trail Blazers
  4. 1990: Nadav HenefeldMaccabi Tel Aviv
  5. 1990: Tate GeorgeNew Jersey Nets
  6. 1992: Chris SmithMinnesota Timberwolves
  7. 1993: Scott BurrellCharlotte Hornets
  8. 1994: Donyell MarshallMinnesota Timberwolves
  9. 1995: Kevin OllieConnecticut Pride, CBA; Dallas Mavericks
  10. 1995: Donny MarshallCleveland Cavaliers
  11. 1996: Ray AllenMilwaukee Bucks, Seattle SuperSonics, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat
  12. 1996: Travis KnightChicago Bulls
  13. 1996: Doron ShefferLos Angeles Clippers, Maccabi Tel Aviv
  14. 1999: Richard HamiltonWashington Wizards, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls
  15. 2000: Khalid El-AminChicago Bulls
  16. 2000: Jake VoskuhlPhoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors
  17. 2002: Caron ButlerMiami Heat, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks
  18. 2004: Emeka OkaforCharlotte Bobcats, New Orleans Hornets, Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns
  19. 2004: Ben GordonChicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Bobcats
  20. 2005: Charlie VillanuevaToronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons
  21. 2006: Hilton ArmstrongNew Orleans Hornets
  22. 2006: Josh BooneNew Jersey Nets
  23. 2006: Denham BrownSeattle SuperSonics
  24. 2006: Rudy GayHouston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs
  25. 2006: Marcus WilliamsNew Jersey Nets, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies
  26. 2009: A. J. PriceIndiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, Minnesota Timberwolves
  27. 2009: Hasheem ThabeetMemphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder
  28. 2010: Jeff AdrienGolden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Charlotte Bobcats
  29. 2011: Kemba WalkerCharlotte Hornets, Boston Celtics
  30. 2012: Andre DrummondDetroit Pistons
  31. 2012: Jeremy LambHouston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Charlotte Hornets
  32. 2014: Shabazz NapierMiami Heat, Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers

Health problems[edit]

On February 3, 2003, Calhoun announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He took an immediate leave of absence from the team, and underwent surgery three days later to have his prostate removed. He was released from the hospital on February 9 and within days was once again involved in the day-to-day operation of the program. On February 22 Jim Calhoun returned to the sidelines for the team's match-up with St. John's at Gampel Pavilion, only 16 days after the surgery.

On May 30, 2008, UConn announced that Calhoun was undergoing treatment for squamous cell carcinoma.[14]

On June 13, 2009, Calhoun fell during a charity bike event and broke five ribs.[15]

On January 19, 2010, Calhoun took a leave of absence from the team again due to health reasons. Calhoun had a "serious" condition that he wanted to discuss with his family.[16] Calhoun returned to the court to coach the Huskies on February 13.

On February 3, 2012, Calhoun took a medical leave of absence from coaching as a result of spinal stenosis.[17] He returned on March 3, 2012, less than a week after having back surgery, to coach the team to a win over Pittsburgh in the final game of the regular season.[18]

After a left hip fracture he received while bike riding on August 4, 2012, Calhoun had surgery that same day.[19]


Calhoun retired as Connecticut's basketball coach on September 13, 2012, closing a 26-year career at UConn.[20]

Comeback in Division III[edit]

On September 18, 2018, Calhoun was named the first head coach of the men's basketball team at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ), an NCAA Division III program in West Hartford, Connecticut. He told the school website: "Whether it's Division I or Division III, the kids are the kids and the game is the game and I'm looking forward to getting back out on the court and teaching these young men each and every day. I really missed being a part of a team." Glen Miller became his assistant at USJ.[21] Calhoun's 2019–20 team at USJ had a 25-game winning streak before losing in the first round of the Division III postseason tournament.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Calhoun and his wife, Pat, live in Pomfret, Connecticut, have been married since 1967, and have two sons and six grandchildren. They also have purchased a home on Long Island Sound in Madison, Connecticut.

The couple, both of whom lost parents to heart disease, are known for their philanthropy, including the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center at UConn and the annual Jim Calhoun Holiday Food Drive which has raised nearly $1 million supporting food assistance agencies that serve to help families in need throughout the State of Connecticut. In 1998, a $125,000 gift from Jim Calhoun and his wife Pat established the Jim and Pat Calhoun Cardiology Research Fund at UConn Health Center. The Jim Calhoun Celebrity Classic Golf Tournament was launched in 1999 and has since raised millions in support of the endowment fund. In 2003 & 2004, Coach Calhoun served as celebrity host of the black tie gala "Hoops For Hope", by Coaches vs. Cancer, a program established in 1993 by the American Cancer Society; the events raised over $400,000 for the ACS. 2007 is the first year of The Big Y Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride statewide event to benefit The Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center; the ride raised over $225,000.


For many years Calhoun has been the Honorary Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, which has generated over $4.5 million to fund diabetes research. Coach Calhoun has also served as an Honorary Chairperson/Director for other charitable programs including the Ronald McDonald House Kids Classic Golf Tournament, the Ray of Hope Foundation Golf Tournament, the Connecticut Children's Medical Center and Children's Miracle Network, and the "Character Counts" program in the state of Connecticut.


  • 1998 – The Franciscan Sisters dedicate an outdoor basketball area, "Calhoun's Court" at the Franciscan Life Center in Meriden, Connecticut
  • 2004 – Calhoun is the first recipient of an award by the Swim Across The Sound Prostate Cancer Institute
  • 2005 – "Honorary Alumni Award" from the University of Connecticut Alumni Association
  • 2005 – Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield, MA
  • 2019 - Received the Best Coach award at the 2019 ESPYs in Los Angeles, California

Head coaching record[edit]

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Northeastern Huskies (Unknown/ECAC North/North Atlantic Conference) (1972–1986)
1972–73 Northeastern 19–7
1973–74 Northeastern 12–11
1974–75 Northeastern 12–12
1975–76 Northeastern 12–13
1976–77 Northeastern 12–14
1977–78 Northeastern 14–12
1978–79 Northeastern 13–13
1979–80 Northeastern 19–8 19–7 T–1st
1980–81 Northeastern 24–6 21–5 1st NCAA Division I Second Round
1981–82 Northeastern 23–7 8–1 1st NCAA Division I Second Round
1982–83 Northeastern 13–15 4–6 6th
1983–84 Northeastern 27–5 14–0 1st NCAA Division I First Round
1984–85 Northeastern 22–9 13–3 T–1st NCAA Division I First Round
1985–86 Northeastern 26–5 16–2 1st NCAA Division I First Round
Northeastern: 248–137 (.644) 95–24 (.798)
Connecticut Huskies (Big East Conference) (1986–2012)
1986–87 Connecticut 9–19 3–13 T–8th
1987–88 Connecticut 20–14 4–12 9th NIT Champion
1988–89 Connecticut 18–13 6–10 T–7th NIT Quarterfinal
1989–90 Connecticut 31–6 12–4 T–1st NCAA Division I Elite Eight
1990–91 Connecticut 20–11 9–7 3rd NCAA Division I Sweet 16
1991–92 Connecticut 20–10 10–8 T–3rd NCAA Division I Second Round
1992–93 Connecticut 15–13 9–9 T–4th NIT First Round
1993–94 Connecticut 29–5 16–2 1st NCAA Division I Sweet 16
1994–95 Connecticut 28–5 16–2 1st NCAA Division I Elite Eight
1995–96 Connecticut 30–2 17–1 1st (BE 6) NCAA Division I Sweet 16*
1996–97 Connecticut 18–15 7–11 6th (BE 6) NIT Third Place
1997–98 Connecticut 32–5 15–3 1st (BE 6) NCAA Division I Elite Eight
1998–99 Connecticut 34–2 16–2 1st NCAA Division I Champion
1999–00 Connecticut 25–10 10–6 T–3rd NCAA Division I Second Round
2000–01 Connecticut 20–12 8–8 T–3rd (East) NIT Second Round
2001–02 Connecticut 27–7 13–3 1st (East) NCAA Division I Elite Eight
2002–03 Connecticut 23–10 10–6 T–1st (East) NCAA Division I Sweet 16
2003–04 Connecticut 33–6 12–4 2nd NCAA Division I Champion
2004–05 Connecticut 23–8 13–3 T–1st NCAA Division I Second Round
2005–06 Connecticut 30–4 14–2 T–1st NCAA Division I Elite Eight
2006–07 Connecticut 17–14 6–10 8th
2007–08 Connecticut 24–9 13–5 3rd NCAA Division I First Round
2008–09 Connecticut 31–5 15–3 2nd NCAA Division I Final Four
2009–10 Connecticut 18–16 7–11 T–11th NIT Second Round
2010–11 Connecticut 32–9 9–9 9th NCAA Division I Champion
2011–12 Connecticut 18–13 (20–14)[24] 6–9 (8–10)[24] 9th NCAA Division I First Round
Connecticut: 625–243 (.720) 276–163 (.629)
Saint Joseph Blue Jays (Great Northeast Athletic Conference) (2018–present)
2018–19 Saint Joseph 16–12 5–6 7th
2019–20 Saint Joseph 26–3 11–0 1st NCAA Division III First Round
Saint Joseph: 42–15 (.737) 16–6 (.727)
Total: 915–395 (.698)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

* Connecticut had its 2–1 record in the 1996 NCAA tournament and Sweet 16 appearance vacated after two players were ruled ineligible.

As of April 5, 2013, Calhoun has a 50–19 (.725) record in the NCAA Tournament, going 2–5 (.286) at Northeastern and 48–14 (.774) at Connecticut.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Calhoun, Jim. Dare To Dream: Connecticut Basketball's Remarkable March to the National Championship ISBN 0-7679-0475-3
  • Calhoun, Jim. A passion to lead: seven leadership secrets for success in business, sports, and life ISBN 0-312-36271-4


  1. ^ "Calhoun, Jim". Current Biography Yearbook 2011. Ipswich, Massachusetts: H.W. Wilson. 2011. pp. 106–109. ISBN 9780824211219.
  2. ^ "Former UConn coach Jim Calhoun named coach at Division III's University of St. Joseph". CBSSports.com. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  3. ^ Wise, Mike (April 5, 2011). "Connecticut Coach Jim Calhoun just won't go away". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  4. ^ http://basketball.about.com/od/coaches/a/multiple-championships.htm
  5. ^ http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1341064-10-greatest-coaches-in-ncaa-basketball-history
  6. ^ "A Life Spent Coaching | The Official Website of Coach Jim Calhoun". www.CoachJimCalhoun.com. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  7. ^ [1] Archived March 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ CNNSI.com, March 23, 1999 "Calhoun riding an emotional wave to St. Pete"
  9. ^ "UConn Huskies Calhoun bio". Archived from the original on October 11, 2008. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  10. ^ LeAnne Gendreau (May 7, 2010). "Calhoun, UConn Agree to Contract Until 2014". NBC Connecticut. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  11. ^ "NCAA committee bans Jim Calhoun of Connecticut Huskies from three Big East games – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. February 23, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  12. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=6146656
  13. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=5662321
  14. ^ "Calhoun being treated for skin cancer, wants to continue coaching". ESPN. May 30, 2008.
  15. ^ Mike Anthony (June 13, 2009). "Calhoun Breaks 5 Ribs, Collapses At Charity Bike Event". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved June 13, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "UConn hoops coach Calhoun taking medical leave". Associated Press. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  17. ^ ESPN News Services. "Jim Calhoun on indefinite medical leave". ESPN. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  18. ^ ESPN News Services. "Jim Calhoun returns to coach UConn". ESPN. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  19. ^ "Calhoun's Hip Surgery Likely Won't Stop Him From A Return To Coaching". CBS News New York. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  20. ^ EATON-ROBB, Pat. "UConn men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun retires". Yahoo! News. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  21. ^ "Jim Calhoun Officially Named Head Men's Basketball Coach". Saint Joseph CT. September 18, 2018. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  22. ^ Sullivan, Tara (March 6, 2020). "Jim Calhoun finds winners everywhere". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  23. ^ "UConn Huskies Calhoun bio". Archived from the original on October 11, 2008. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  24. ^ a b * As a result of the 2011 NCAA sanctions imposed on Calhoun for recruiting violations, the 2–1 record compiled by Connecticut while Calhoun served his three game suspension was credited to assistant coach George Blaney. AP (January 5, 2012). "Jim Calhoun not credited with wins". ESPN. Retrieved January 6, 2012.

External links[edit]