CALHOUN CONFIRMS HE'LL RETURN
Jim Calhoun has agreed to a contract extension with UConn and will likely sign it within the next month.
"Let me officially put to rest the speculation about my future at UConn," Calhoun said in the statement released to the Register by his agent, Jeff Schwartz. "We are close to finalizing a new contract and I plan on continuing as the head coach of the men's basketball team for several more years."
Calhoun’s current six-year deal, which pays him $1.6 million this season, expires on June 30. Negotiations have been going, on and off, for several months. The logistics of negotiating a 20-page contract and the “legalese” involved, coupled with Calhoun’s 23-day medical leave of absence during the season, have bogged the process down considerably.
“It should not have dragged on, but that’s just the way it’s been,” said a source with knowledge of the situation. “There’s a lot of speculation and rumor, but it will all be done.”
It will be a four-year deal.
Calhoun, who turns 68 in May and is in his 24th season as the Huskies’ head coach, “is in great health and he wants to coach … no way he wants to leave on a year like this,” said the source.
The Huskies fell to 17-15 after their fourth straight loss on Tuesday, to St. John’s in a Big East tournament first-round game. They are awaiting a probable bid to the National Invitational Tournament – one which UConn will almost certainly accept. The Huskies return to the practice floor on Saturday after taking a few days off.
A recent report on SNY noted that “sources close to Calhoun believe he will retire at season’s end.” However, Calhoun’s son, Jeff, quickly shot down the rumor – as did Calhoun after the loss to St. John’s.
“I was made aware of the story, and it has nothing to do with anything and was not based upon any substantive fact,” he said Tuesday night. “I’m in the business of trying to recruit players to UConn. I love the school, and I still love coaching. But right now it is erroneous. It couldn’t be farther – when I saw or heard a couple of the facts about me talking to certain people, who I have not had a word with the one for one year and the other for eight months about the situation.”
Calhoun was apparently referring to rumors (and a later newspaper report) that his insistence on being able to name former assistant Dave Leitao as his successor has held up negotiations.
Those rumors have “zero” credibility, according to a source.
“A deal will be done,” the source added. “Jim will come back to the school.”
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