Jim Calhoun Retirement: Twitter Reacts to Hall of Fame Coach Hanging It Up
After spending the last 40 years as a college basketball head coach, including 26 at the University of Connecticut, Jim Calhoun has decided to call it a career.
At 70 years old, Calhoun walks away from the game with 873 career victories (per ESPN), three NCAA championships, 10 Big East regular season titles and seven Big East Tournament titles.
As is always the case when big news happens, fans and analysts logged on to Twitter to give their reactions to Calhoun's retirement, final statements and legacy as a basketball coach.
Here are the best of the best, starting with one from Jessica Hill, who is a photojournalist. She posted a picture of students anxiously awaiting the press conference.
Since this is Calhoun's press conference, you have to get some quotes from the man himself. Dom Amore, who covers the Huskies for the Hartford Courant, provided two of the very best from the spectacle.
First, Amore posted one about how touched Calhoun has been by the passion and dedication the fans showed to the program.
Calhoun: "fact fans drove through that sleet and rain ... Allowed us to become what we are"— Dom Amore (@AmoreCourant) September 13, 2012
Amore followed that up with one of the more inspirational moments from Calhoun's speech about how he went about making this program into a national power.
Calhoun: "can't be something special unless you believe you're something special"— Dom Amore (@AmoreCourant) September 13, 2012
Another great quote from Calhoun came when talking about how he was able to instill the confidence in this program to get to the top of college basketball world. (via SportsCenter)
"The first step in being special, is to believe you're special… I believed every bit of it" -Jim Calhoun on #UConn men's basketball— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 13, 2012
Mike Piskorski of Fox Connecticut and the Hartford Courant provided a little more information about the transition to Kevin Ollie as head coach and what his future with the program is going to be.
Kevin Ollie, officially announced as Jim Calhoun's successor.He has a one year contract and the word interim is not in his title.— Mike Piskorski (@mpiskorskictnow) September 13, 2012
Ollie is an interesting choice. He certainly has history with the program, but has only been coaching for two years. That's not to say he won't succeed—it is just a lot of pressure to put on a person so new to the profession.
Yet another quote from Calhoun, courtesy of A Daily Dose of Hoops, came when he was talking about new head coach Kevin Ollie.
Jim Calhoun on Kevin Ollie: "He's got a higher character and moral fiber than any guy I know." #UConn— A Daly Dose Of Hoops (@DalyDoseOfHoops) September 13, 2012
Andy Katz of ESPN did provide this interesting little tidbit of information that fans should pay close attention to this year.
UConn announces Kevin Ollie will be the head coach with a contract until April 4, 2013 and paid a salary of $625,000.— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) September 13, 2012
Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe took time out of talking baseball to post his thoughts about Ollie being named UConn head coach.
New UConn coach Kevin Ollie is one of the top people in sports in terms of character, values and work ethic. First-class guy.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) September 13, 2012
University president Susan Herbst delivered a very moving speech to start the press conference, saying this about Calhoun and his importance to the school.
Magic Johnson paid his respects to Calhoun as both a coach and mentor to so many great talents over the years.
Coach Jim Calhoun has done so much for college basketball & student athletes.His program also produced some of the @nba greats.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) September 13, 2012
Of course, it is also important to remember that the program is on probation right now because of NCAA violations, which likely made it easier for Calhoun to walk away.
Jim Boeheim, who is no stranger to Connecticut and Jim Calhoun, was on the Dan Patrick Show earlier today and had some very nice things to say about the job the Hall of Fame coach did with the program. (via Paul Pabst)
"To me, it's the best building job in NCAA history." Jim Boeheim on Jim Calhoun at UCONN. @dpshow— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) September 13, 2012
Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News took to defending Calhoun for some of the backlash that has been hurled his way during his career as coach.
If you're judging who Jim Calhoun was by how he comported self in press conferences, you're getting 1 percent of the truth -- good and bad.— Michael DeCourcy (@tsnmike) September 13, 2012
Connecticut fan Brooks Santanello had this to say about what watching Huskies basketball meant to him as a young man.
Thank you Jim Calhoun for some of the greatest memories I have had as a kid and growing up watching UCONN basketball. youtube.com/watch?v=FocMXi…— Brooks Santanello (@b_santanello) September 13, 2012
Joseph Lima, who has a very appropriate background to sum up the new dawn happening at UConn, is ready to usher in the new era.
Watching Jim Calhoun's retirement press conference. End of an era and beginning of a new one. Go Huskies!!! #uconn— Joseph S. Lima (@josephslima) September 13, 2012
When Calhoun started talking, he got a little choked up, which is understandable. Chris Keenist summed up what that kind of emotion means in the sports world.
#Jim Calhoun getting choked up during retirement presser. Another example of how sports brings out emotion in everybody. Love it.— Chris Keenist (@ChrisKeenist) September 13, 2012
Pitcher Parker Devenney likely said what so many people in Connecticut and around the country are thinking right now.
Its going to be weird not seeing Jim Calhoun on the sidelines anymore..— Parker Devenney (@PDevenney15) September 13, 2012
When you see an institution, which is what Calhoun has been for so long at UConn, step aside, it really makes you wonder how the program will respond. It will be strange not to see him with the Huskies anymore.
The artist known as Daniel Slater Nash helped put a bow on all the moving and shuffling going on in the Big East over the past few months, including the retirement of Calhoun.
Pittsburgh, West Virginia, TCU & Syracuse football. Gone. Notre Dame basketball. Gone. Jim Calhoun. Gone. #RIPBIGEAST— Daniel Slater Nash (@SlaterNation94) September 13, 2012
Meanwhile. Dayshima Jackson puts a common spin on the job that Kevin Ollie has in front of him, which is not an enviable one.
Kevin Ollie has such big shoes to fill. Jim Calhoun will be greatly missed, what a legendary coach for the Uconn Men's Basketball program
— Dayshima Jackson (@dayshimajackson) September 13, 2012
Boston enthusiast Caroline White puts a simple bow on what the end of the Calhoun era will mean for Connecticut basketball.
UConn basketball will never be the same. #Calhoun— Caroline White (@carolinewhite99) September 13, 2012
The Jim Calhoun era is over but his legacy will last forever.
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