Jim Calhoun retired in September 2012, basically forcing UConn to name Kevin Ollie the interim head coach. Today, the school fired Ollie after six seasons.
The school is facing an NCAA investigation surrounding multiple players. According to local columnist Jeff Jacobs, one issue could be impermissible workouts.
Obviously any NCAA issues are not welcome. However, with what other programs are dealing with, including an ongoing FBI investigation, this seems fairly minor.
Based on what we know so far, it doesn't seem likely that most schools would use this as justification for firing a coach that they are happy with. UConn is doing exactly that with Ollie, in a move that is likely geared towards allowing the school to get away with not paying him his large buyout.
Unlike when Calhoun retired, UConn has plenty of time for a full search. However, could it look towards the 76-year old legend himself as a stop gap?
A few sites have raised the possibility of a Jim Calhoun return to UConn.
Any time a big job like this opens, numerous posts about candidate lists follow. We've already seen a few that feature Calhoun as a Wild Card. From New Haven Register UConn beat writer David Borges:
The legendary, Hall of Fame coach is slated to lead the University of St. Joseph Division III program next year, but would leave that in a heartbeat to return to the helm of the program he guided to three national titles. Indications are that university officials higher up than AD Dave Benedict have inquired about Calhoun’s interest, and he would likely work for a relatively cheap sum (say, $1 million) for a few years while bringing in a coach-in-waiting like, perhaps, Glen Miller, Tom Moore, Donyell Marshall or Scott Burrell.
It sounds far fetched, but why not? Sure, Calhoun turns 76 in May. Sure, he hasn't coached since the 2011-12 season. But this wouldn't be a long-term move. Bringing Calhoun back would almost certainly stability to a program not performing to the level it's fan base has grown accustom to. If Calhoun can play Bobby Bowden and raise and rear his Jimbo Fisher-like successor, he'd be an ideal stop gap.
Calhoun actually spoke about the Ollie dismissal before Ollie has even released a statement. Interestingly, he made a point of mentioning that he and his former pupil haven't been as close as they once were.
Jim Calhoun's age and years away from the sport are definitely a concern. However, the more compelling argument against UConn rehiring me may be one about hypocrisy.
The school has fired Ollie for cause as an NCAA investigation moves along. Calhoun was caught up with the NCAA multiple times, including at the end of his tenure. Ollie's first UConn team was not eligible to make the NCAA Tournament due to violations committed while Calhoun was in charge. The next year, he won a national championship.