A major announcement about a basketball program at one Connecticut university has the college basketball world buzzing.
Former University of Connecticut men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun will help the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford start up its program. Calhoun said he will be leading recruitment efforts for the university's first-ever men's basketball team. He added will not coach this year.
“I’ll be called a consultant and that’s OK because there are so many things that we need to put in place," Calhoun said.
The NCAA announced on Thursday that Calhoun will be a consultant. The school's announcement happened in the school's Mercy Hall at 11 a.m.
“I miss seeing the gym. I miss the kids in the gym," Calhoun said. "Being on a bleacher with a kid after practice.”
Calhoun, who was an announcer at ESPN, said the team did not have a coach just yet and that he may have an evolved role in the future.
“The ESPN thing is great, I really enjoy going to games but I’m not truly a part of it. I see it, watch practice and envy it," Calhoun said. "And so when people say that must have satisfied you. No it actually created a thirst."
Calhoun, who is not coming back to ESPN, added he likes the location and will be looking for new Blue Jays. He also announced that his old assistant, Glenn Miller will be joining the University of St. Joseph team full-time to help.
“I don’t care who you’re playing against. When you have fun and you compete and work hard to be good it’s the greatest victory in the world and I don’t care where it may be who it may be," Calhoun said. "So I’m incredibly happy here to help build the foundation for the program and that’s what I’m doing right now.”
Calhoun told Channel 3 this past summer that he would help the school's athletic director when the school becomes co-ed in 2018. He retired from UConn in 2012 after a 26-year coaching career.
While at UConn, Calhoun won three NCAA tournament championships, was named Big East Conference coach of the year four times and was named a member of the founding class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
St. Joseph is NCAA Division III and it's men's program will tip off in the fall of 2018 when full-time undergraduate programs become coed.
“Get’s word out to the world that we are coeducational," University of St. Joseph President Dr.Rhona Free said. "That we are committed to excellence in everything we do including men’s basketball.”
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