The move toward national prominence for the University of Connecticut basketball program began in May of 1986 when Jim Calhoun was named head coach. Twenty years later, UConn Basketball sits atop the college basketball landscape with a pair of NCAA National Championships, an NIT Championship, 15 BIG EAST Conference titles, and annual recognition as one of America’s truly outstanding college programs. The 2004-05 season saw perhaps the best coaching job of Jim Calhoun’s career. The Huskies had to replace the No. 2 and No. 3 selections in the NBA Draft Lottery, as well as, the school’s all-time assist leader, and dealt with the adversity of a pair of life-threatening illnesses. Despite those obstacles, Coach Calhoun had his Huskies again at the top of the BIG EAST Conference and among the contenders for an NCAA Championship. In what has become a Coach Calhoun tradition, the Huskies rolled into postseason, winning 10 of 12 games to end the season, capturing the school’s ninth BIG EAST regular season title and 15th overall BIG EAST title, both league records. UConn finished the year ranked in the National Top 20 for the tenth time in the past 12 seasons and advanced to national postseason play for the 18th consecutive season, one of only four schools in the country to do so. For the second consecutive year, Jim Calhoun was a finalist for election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and on April 4, 2005 was named one of five individuals to earn the sport’s highest individual honor. Calhoun will be enshrined in the Class of 2005 on September 9, 2005 in Springfield, Mass., becoming one of only 263 individuals to ever be so honored. He is one of only six active Division I coaches in the Hall of Fame, joining John Chaney, Bob Knight, Mike Krzyzewski, Lute Olson and fellow 2005 enshrinee Jim Boeheim. After 33 seasons as a head coach on the NCAA Division I collegiate level, Jim Calhoun’s overall collegiate head coaching record is 703-310 (69.4% winning effort). That includes a 248-137 (64.4%) record in 14 seasons as head coach at Northeastern (MA) University and a 455-173 (72.5%) mark in his 19 seasons at Connecticut. In 2003-04, UConn began the season as the consensus No. 1 team in the nation and was one of only two teams to spend the entire season in the top ten en route to the program’s second national title. UConn finished the 2003-2004 season with a 33-6 overall record. In directing the Huskies to their second NCAA National Championship in six seasons, Jim Calhoun became only the second coach to win multiple NCAA titles since the tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Coach Calhoun has reached several milestones during the past two seasons in addition to being a Hall of Fame finalist. On March 2, 2005, UConn defeated Georgetown to make Coach Calhoun the 19th coach in Division I history to reach the 700-win plateau. He also reached 450 wins at UConn in the victory over Notre Dame on February 21. During the 2003-04 season, he notched his 650th career win vs. Sacred Heart and registered his 400th career victory at UConn in the season opener vs. Yale. With the win over Syracuse on February 2, 2004, Coach Calhoun passed John Wooden to move into the top 20 on the NCAA All-Time Division I Coaching Wins list and currently stands tied for 18th place in NCAA history. In his 19 seasons at Connecticut, Jim Calhoun has compiled a stunning 45-14 overall record in national postseason tournament competition (33-10 in NCAA play, 12-4 in NIT play). His 33 NCAA wins at UConn, all achieved in the past 16 years, far outdistances the entire total of four NCAA victories recorded at Connecticut before Coach Calhoun took over the Husky basketball program in the spring of 1986. Jim Calhoun has led UConn to 13 NCAA bids in the past 16 years. Under Coach Calhoun’s direction, UConn has never lost a NCAA First Round game and UConn is a stunning 23-3 in NCAA First and Second Round competition since 1990. The Huskies have earned ten NCAA Sweet 16 berths in the past 16 years, six Elite Eight appearances, two NCAA Final Four trips and two National Championships. Under Coach Calhoun, UConn has captured a league record 15 BIG EAST Championships, nine regular season crowns and six tournament titles. The Huskies are 28-13 in BIG EAST Tournament play under Calhoun. Jim Calhoun is the only coach in the history of the BIG EAST Conference to have been named BIG EAST Conference Coach of the Year four times. He earned his first BIG EAST Coach of the Year award in 1989-90 and also won the honor following the 1993-94, 1995-96 and 1997-98 seasons. John Thompson of Georgetown and Lou Carnesecca of St. John’s each earned the prestigious honor three times. In October of 2004, Jim Calhoun was named winner of the 2005 “Legends of Coaching Award” from the John R. Wooden Awards Committee. Coach Calhoun received the award from the Los Angeles Athletic Club in April of 2005, becoming just the seventh recipient of the prestigious honor. The award honors college coaches who exemplify Coach John Wooden’s high standards of coaching success and personal achievements. Previous recipients of the Legends of Coaching Award include: Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski and Lute Olson. In the summer of 2002, Jim Calhoun was selected as a member of the inaugural induction class to the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. After directing Connecticut to both the 1999 and 2004 NCAA National Championships, Jim Calhoun was honored on separate occasions as the recipient of the Winged Foot Award from the New York Athletic Club, recognizing him as their National Coach of the Year. He also received the prestigious Victor Award as 1998-99 College Basketball National Coach of the Year and was the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District I Coach of the Year. Born May 10, 1942 in Braintree, MA, Jim Calhoun and his wife Pat have two sons, James and Jeffrey. James and his wife Jennifer have two daughters, Emily (born 3/5/99) and Katie (born 12/29/00) and a son Samuel (born 6/8/03). Jeffrey and his wife Amy have three daughters Avery (born 1/26/02), Reese (born 4/7/03) and Peyton (born 3/26/05).
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