I had the chance to speak to George Blaney for a while this afternoon, for a story we’re planning for the Sunday Courant. A few highlights here ….
Blaney, 73, is in his 12th season as an assistant at UConn but, of course, his first without Jim Calhoun and it seemed like the right time to ask what he was thinking about the future.
“You reach an age,” he said, “where you stop thinking about the future and just think day to day. When Jim [Calhoun] signed his last contract, I joked that I was on a ‘day-to-day contract’ and I had a lot of fun with it. I still feel good about what I am doing. At some point [after the season] I will sit down and evaluate it.”
When Kevin Ollie took over in September, Blaney, with over 30 years head coaching experience, predicted Ollie would be a “superstar.”
“I haven’t changed my opinion about Kevin one bit,” Blaney said. “I still think he is going to be a superstar, even more so in the way he handled what he had to do to get the job. He never complained [about the short-term] contract. He had a total belief in himself … and what a great example that is, when you’re trying to teach others to believe in themselves.”
Blaney is no longer associate head coach, that title going to Glen Miller before the season, but he says his role has not changed much. The head coach asks for his advice and he gives it.
“I do miss Jim greatly,” Blaney said, “Kevin and I have a good relationship, I’m sure that the trust is there. He asks me and I tell him what I think. But Jim and I had an unusual relationship. … I just hope that Jim stays as happy as I see him now.”