Calhoun recalls first coaching job at high school in Old Lyme - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Calhoun recalls first coaching job at high school in Old Lyme

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Before stepping down today, Jim Calhoun had coached basketball in Connecticut for more than 44 years and he started his career in Old Lyme.

On Thursday, the University of Connecticut announced that Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun has retired as the men's basketball coach and turned over his duties to assistant Kevin Ollie.

Before he became sixth all-time in wins, was inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame and won three national championships, he was the boys' basketball coach at Old Lyme High School in 1968.

At the time, Calhoun was 26 years old and had just graduated college.

During his one-year tenure, Calhoun was known for being a disciplinarian and had the Connecticut State Police resident troopers keep an eye on his players.

"He ran the kids hard. He was very disciplined," said Old Lyme High School Athletic Director Robert Roache. "He knew the game. You could tell he loved the game. It was just something that kind of opened your eyes."

Calhoun only stayed at Old Lyme for one year because he didn't have the required teaching certifications from the state to go beyond that. However, his former players still remember the lessons that he taught them.

"He taught us certainly discipline. He came in and taught a lot of people in town things," said former player Kevin Cole. "Sunday practice was not allowed and he kind of broke the ice in the small town that Sunday practice was necessary if we were going to have a successful program."

And they know what his former UConn players went through, too.

"I can watch the games today and I know when he turns the bench and when he's waving his arms and I know what he's saying," Cole said. "He was a little more intense than what we were used to."

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