NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Head coach Jim Calhoun reacts on the sidelines against the Syracuse Orange during the quarterfinals of the Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
UConn men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun's retirement is imminent, according to a source close to the coach.
Calhoun told NBC Connecticut's Kevin Nathan Wednesday that nothing official has been finalized.
"Don't be surprised by anything, even this week," Calhoun said.
Calhoun turned the UConn basketball program into the one of the nation's best during his 26-year tenure. He won three National titles, seven Big East Tournament titles, four Final Fours and 618 games at UConn. Including his time at Northeastern, he won 866 games over his career, good for tenth all-time among all NCAA coaches and sixth all-time among DI coaches.
Calhoun was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005 alongside Syracuse Orange coach Jim Boeheim. Apropos as the two friends have shared many memorable Big East moments.
The two coaches against one another 69 times as head coaches as UConn and Syracuse. The Orange led the regular-season series 28-27 and the BET series 8-6. Almost every game seems to have been a classic, or at the very least hard-fought. And of course, Six Overtimes will probably go down as one of, if not the, best game in Big East history.
The dirty secret most Syracuse (and Georgetown) fans didn't want to admit was that, between 1995 and 2005, UConn was really our No. 1 basketball rival. And that's due in large part to Calhoun. Read more about their rivalry here.
If Calhoun does retire, that means Boeheim's final season in the Big East will finish off the remaining spirits of the traditional Big East. Gone will be John Thompson (the good one), gone will be Massimino, gone will be Carneseca, gone will be Calhoun and moved on will be Boeheim. In a way, I suppose the timing is perfect.
A weird season for UConn is about to get even weirder. The team was gutted by academic sanctions this season and will now go into play without Calhoun's name on the head coach door for the first time since 1986.
Keep an eye on The UConn Blog for developments and reaction.