Would Jim Calhoun Coach Again? ‘Never Say Never’ … Notes From ‘Center Stage,’ and Back Stage

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NEW YORK – Would Jim Calhoun un-retire? When Michael Kay asked him the question during a taping of a future episode of Yes Network’s Center Stage, Calhoun, 70, spoke of a recent talk he had with Larry Brown, who has un-retired at age 72 to coach SMU.

“I would never say never,” Calhoun said. “I haven’t thought about it. … The situation would have to be right …”

After the taping, which will air in January 2013, specific dates yet to be determined, Calhoun sat down with me in the Green Room and elaborated. It’s a long shot, obviously.

“Do I think I might be coaching next year? No,” he said, “I don’t think my wife would let me. You kow me, I don’t really have a filter.”

Calhoun, who talked about his entire life and career during the show, his relationships with various rivals and UConn’s postseason ineligibility, also revealed Monday that he had another health issue last May, when his normal CAT-scan showed a growth on his lungs. Doctors removed it, concerned it might be a return of the skin cancer Calhoun had five years ago. With his spinal surgery in February and his hip surgery in August, it made for three surgeries as the current season was approaching,

“That took a toll on my body,” Calhoun said, “and I was tired. Now, the energy level I feel is much different.”

While he misses some aspects of coaching, “all the other stuff” that goes with the is something he does not miss, “and there is a lot of other stuff,” he said. That makes a comeback unlikely.

But Calhoun is looking for things to do, considering various opportunities in the media. This interview was something the producers of Center Stage were trying to put together for years. Calhoun drove from Pomfret to midtown Manhattan and joined Kay for an engaging 75 minutes as about 50 watched and listened in the audience.

On Center Stage and back stage afterward, Calhoun offered a interesting takes on all kinds of issues. Some highlights:

  • Kay asked Calhoun if he thought Geno Auriemma could coach men’s basketball. “I would like to see him try,” Calhoun said. “With the things he does with  his players, he does some great stuff, yes, he could. … I think he has that swagger, the way he truly understands the game, I think it would be very interesting.”
  • After the show, Calhoun re-iterated that sooner or later, UConn will join a major conference, in the wake of the rejection by the ACC, which chose Louisville last week.

“There will be four or five major conferences,” he said, “and I am one of the a true believers – they will recognize what UConn offers.” He noted that UConn was not one of the first choices to join the Big East, but got in after other schools, such as Holy Cross, declined. “So it doesn’t matter if you’re some conference’s second choice, or third choice or fifth choice.”

He is concerned about the future in the Big East. He noted that his Huskies were ninth in the conference, but made the NCAA Tournament and won it in 2011, something that couldn’t happen in a conference that gets only three or four NCAA bids.

* Calhoun is increasingly concerned about the negative impact on recruiting due to Kevin Ollie’s short-term contract.

*Calhoun has fond memories of Rick Majerus, who died this past weekend at age 64. Majerus and Calhoun were often part of a group of coaches that met in the off-season and discussed X’s and O’s.

“He was a hard guy not to like,” Calhoun said. “And I didn’t want to like him, because he was more of a techie than a motivation guy, although  you couldn’t win as much as he did without being a motivator, too. He would get up and talk about basketball and you would think he should be talking about physics. He was a fascinating guy.”

“He had a great heart. I would invite him to the Calhoun Classic every year, and he wouldn’t be able to come for one reason or another, but I found out he made a donation every year.”

*Kay taped a show with Billy Crystal after Calhoun, and Crystal poked his head in to say hello and ask about Calhoun’s hip. Calhoun told Crystal he was a big fan of his movie “City Slickers.”


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18 thoughts on “Would Jim Calhoun Coach Again? ‘Never Say Never’ … Notes From ‘Center Stage,’ and Back Stage

  1. Ken Krayeske

    Seriously? Will man-child millionaire (who is still getting paid millions by us in “retirement” on his contract) ever leave us alone? Did UConn negotiate a non-compete clause into his retirement contract? If not, UConn should’ve. Otherwise, we are subject to this kind of stupidity. Hopefully, Mr. Calhoun’s better half will put the kibosh on any talk of re-entry. College hoops is marginally more ethical without him.

    Play ball,

    1. nate

      KJK….in life there are idiots we come across and with your comments it seems they are with us where ever we look..{sigh}

    1. p. hofperson

      nice mouth Kemba. everyone is entitled to their opinion and your comment doesn’t serve you well. shows no class if you can’t comment without foul language.

      as far as Geno coaching men’s he has already said no to that due to the fact that with men there is little thought of what’s good for the team instead of the themself.

  2. Bryan

    There are some people in this world (ken) that are just angry, miserable people. They just look for the bad in others and look past the positives…they jump on these negatives to make themselves feel better about their own sad lives. I’m sorry your life isn’t what you had hoped Ken, and I am sorry you feel a need to rant about others to deal with it.

  3. Kjk, suck it

    I see Ken Krayeske is still bitter about Calhoun destroying him in public.

  4. Huskie Alum

    Calhoun has done more for the state of CT. than most of its Governors.

  5. Dave from Watertown

    If Calhoun may come back, DO NOT give Ollie a real contract. Keep him 7 months at a time. The second Calhoun comes back, kick Ollie to the crub.

  6. Terry

    Hey guys, does this KK guy have a clue? Does it realize without Calhoun there would be no Powerhouse in Storrs, hence minimal Husky Basketball receipts.

    1. Ken Krayeske SUCKS

      Ken knows Calhoun. Calhoun gave that loser KK his “Not a dime” statement. Kenny is still miserable because hes a loser and needs to rile people up for a living. Kenny you STILL SUCK

  7. Ken Krayeske SUCKS

    hey kenny- your mom called she wants you outta her basement. you freak. NOT A DIME BABY. hahaha Calhoun played you for the fool you are.

  8. TheAntiLiberal

    Kenny — and I ain’t talking Kenny from South Park — does not understand how a buck is made. Uconn and any university has a primary job to educate students. Then they provide extracurricular enrichment for those students. One of these opportunities for supplemental enrichment is college athletics. In sports, just as in life, we try to win. We try to put the best product out on the field, the court, the diamond, the ice, the course, whatever. It’s not everyone gets a trophy like ultra-liberals and Greens would try to impose on us. It takes money. Uconn Athletics has a 65 $ million a year budget. Some of this is funded by student fees and budget. Some of the more popular programs pay for themselves, make a profit, and actually fund other programs. There is nothing wrong with paying Jim, Geno, or the football coach $2 million a year. They pay taxes, they go out to eat, they buy clothing, they pay for hotel rooms. They GENERATE JOBS. How many jobs has Coach Calhoun’s biggest job created in the past few years? Zero. Same as Obama. Uconn’s football program was lousy the past 2 years because they didn’t go out and INVEST in a big name coach in January 2011. They would be reaping bigger PROFITS today.

  9. mau

    hofperson…….go grab a pom pom and sit with the other 12yr olds and QTip heads women’s fans and enjoy the 50 point wins night in-night out…….please stay away from discussions where you may actually need to know something about basketball and the reality of how it’s played!!

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