For the last time Thursday Hall of Fame head coach Jim Calhoun took to the podium as the spokesman of the University of Connecticut men's basketball program. After 26 seasons Calhoun officially announced his retirement at Gampel Pavilion in front of alumni, former and current players and media members who all listened to a 14-minute opening statement that paid homage to all of those a part of the program.
"On May 15, 1986, I said the UConn job would take some time, but its a doable situation," said Calhoun. "What's not really doable is thanking all of those people along the way."
During the statement, the 70-year-old made fun of his Boston accent, which he said nobody could understand, his suborn Irish heritage, which probably helped create a lot of rivals along the way, but was very sincere in his message that none of his accomplishment could of happened without the support of the university, state of Connecticut and members of the basketball program. But the most important people he wanted to thanks was his family and fans of the UConn basketball.
"Without you, UConn basketball wouldn't be UConn basketball," said Calhoun. "I know many times you think it goes unnoticed, but every time I walked in Gampel Pavilion and the students stand and clapped while I walked in, I got chills. It may go unnoticed by certainly not to me."
Calhoun addressed the future of the program saying new head coach Kevin Ollie, a former player for Calhoun, is going to be "sensational". However, in the end, Calhoun wanted to make sure UConn fans knew how lucky he felt about being the UConn men's head coach.
"I feel so blessed today that I had the opportunity to coach at UConn," said Calhoun in his closing remarks. "Its never been about me. I've just been the focal point."
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