(STORRS, CONNECTICUT) — It’s the end of an era in Connecticut. Seventy-year-old Jim Calhoun officially retired after 26 seasons on the sideline for UConn on Thursday afternoon.
During those 26 seasons, Calhoun coached three teams to national championships. Recently his health has been in question, including three fights with cancer and a fractured hip that he suffered early in August.
“I love this team, they’re a group that’s going to carry the UConn legacy on,” Calhoun said. “I feel so good about them, whether what we’re playing for, we’re playing for UConn, we’re playing for the state of Connecticut, and we’re playing for our basketball team.”
Assistant head coach Kevin Ollie will take the reins next season. Ollie has served as an assistant on Calhoun’s staff since 2010.
“Optimizes what we want a UConn athlete, a UConn student to be all about” said Calhoun of Ollie. “Any foxhole you need to jump in, there is your guy, any person that won’t quit, there is your guy.”
Calhoun ends his career with 873 wins between his stint with Northeastern and Connecticut, ranking him sixth all-time in Division I college basketball.
“So many things are in place for us to even go further than we have already,” said Calhoun of why he chose now. “I really feel the University is in incredible shape.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN