Jim Calhoun won three national championships as head coach of the UConn men’s basketball program. He retired from coaching in 2012, but now he’s coming back to the game as a consultant with the University of Saint Joseph — a Division III program in West Hartford.
“I’m a full-time state employee at the University of Connecticut -- proudly after almost 32 years,” Calhoun said. “I love the Huskies and I’ll always be a Husky. [That] doesn’t mean I don’t have room for other love though.”
For almost 80 years, Saint Joseph was a private women’s college. But it recently became a university. And in 2018, it will officially go co-ed.
At a news conference Thursday, university president Rhona Free said the school wanted to make a “splash” in building its men’s basketball program that will begin play for the 2018-19 season.
“With today’s announcement, we position Saint Joe’s to rapidly get the visibility for men’s basketball that will build all of our women’s and men’s athletic programs — attract even more outstanding student-athletes,” Free said.
Calhoun said he’s returning because he misses coaching the game and its players.
“I love calling Kemba [Walker] and Ray [Allen] and Emeka [Okafor] and all the kids I had and calling them by their first name,” Calhoun said. “And I truly, truly miss that. That’s why I’m here -- I terribly miss the coaching on a daily basis. I miss the association with the kids.”
Calhoun can’t coach — at least for now -- because he still has a contract at UConn as a full-time employee. Instead, he will have a hand in recruitment and player development.