Should UConn's Calhoun retire after winning title?

April 06, 2011

He is UConn hoops

Shannon Ryan

Chicago Tribune

Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun easily could walk into the sunset thumbing his nose at the NCAA with one hand and hoisting a trophy with the other.

Nobody should have to retire just because he has reached a certain age, especially when he is clearly on top of his game. At 68, Calhoun became the oldest coach to win an NCAA tournament championship Monday against Butler. He is one of just five coaches to win at least three titles. So why not go out on top?

Like Joe Paterno at Penn State, Calhoun is Connecticut basketball. Calhoun is as competitive as ever, and I can see him returning just to prove to the NCAA that a three-game suspension next season and other sanctions are hurdles he can clear. He'll have a young but experienced team. Calhoun won't be able to resist returning for a 40th season.

sryan@tribune.com

He won't back down

Rachel George

Orlando Sentinel

It would be a storybook ending, right, if Jim Calhoun retired after leading UConn to a national title? He took a team with one outstanding player, Kemba Walker, and several freshman and won 11 games in 27 days. The Huskies could win another championship, but that's not why Calhoun should stay.

He'll be suspended for three conference games next season, punishment for recruiting violations and failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance. The NCAA left the door open for Calhoun to skip out on his punishment entirely.

He shouldn't.

Calhoun is 68 with three NCAA titles, all in the past 12 years, and is in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. His legacy is secure.

In the short-term, can he sit at home next season and watch as he is remembered more as a coward than a champion?

rgeorge@tribune.com

Still has the edge

Jeff Otterbein

Hartford Courant

Jim Calhoun shouldn't and won't retire.

He has every reason to on a personal level — he is 68, has battled health problems and could choose to walk away and enjoy the grandkids. He has every reason to on a professional level — he is in the Hall of Fame, has won three national titles and is known for one of the greatest building jobs in college basketball, elevating Connecticut to the national stage.

This season's run to the title will go down as one of the greatest in college basketball history.

But he still has the edge, the desire, the passion. Given that, we don't see him walking away, no matter what the pundits might write or say. Calhoun always has done it his way.

jotterbein@tribune.com

Timing is perfect

Chris Dufresne

Los Angeles Times

Yes, absolutely, it is the perfect time for Jim Calhoun to retire.

He probably won't do it soon. He likes to quote advice from former North Carolina coach Dean Smith, who said to never hastily make an important decision. He might wait until October to assure one of his assistants gets the job. But it makes sense for Calhoun to walk away on top, after his third title, and not have to face that three-game suspension next season for NCAA violations.

Calhoun is a proud man who probably did his best coaching job this year. He likely will be losing his star player, Kemba Walker, to the NBA. But Connecticut has a lot of young, talented players to build around. Yet this just feels like the right time for Calhoun, given all he's been through, to step aside. Not many guys get to go out with a national title. John Wooden did it at UCLA in 1975, and that's pretty good company.

cdufresne@tribune.com

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