UConn coach Calhoun taking medical leave
January 19, 2010
HARTFORD, Conn. – Connecticut men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun took a medical leave Tuesday for an undisclosed condition, the latest health concern for the 67-year-old Hall of Famer.
The school did not provide additional details. Calhoun had prostate cancer in 2003 and skin cancer twice, most recently in 2008.
Dr. Peter Schulman, the coach’s primary-care physician, said in a statement he advised Calhoun to take time off “to address some temporary medical issues, none of which involve any previous medical conditions that he has dealt with.”
Associate head coach George Blaney will run the Huskies in Calhoun’s absence. UConn is 11-6 and fell out of the Top 25 this week after losing three straight games, including a 68-63 defeat at Michigan on Sunday. The Huskies host St. John’s on Wednesday night and top-ranked Texas on Saturday.
“Our primary concern is coach Calhoun’s health and his complete recovery,” UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway said. “We will do everything possible to support Coach during this time.
Calhoun usually meets with the media the day before the game. He was not available Tuesday – a day earlier, the school said he had prior commitments and a late practice.
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Calhoun has won two national championships at Connecticut. He led the Huskies to the Final Four last season, but missed the Huskies’ first NCAA tournament game in March after being hospitalized for dehydration.
Last June, he was hospitalized after breaking several ribs during a charity bike ride.
Former UConn star Donyell Marshall posted on his Twitter account: “Get well Coach Calhoun. taking a medical leave of absence.”
Calhoun was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005 and has a career record of 816-348. He is seventh place on the all-time wins list, one win behind Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim.
Several other off-the-court issues had prompted questions about Calhoun’s future, including an investigation into UConn’s recruitment of former player Nate Miles. Calhoun has acknowledged that he or his staff may have made mistakes in recruiting Miles.
It is not clear when that investigation will be complete.
Last month, Calhoun said a new multiyear contract with UConn was “just on the horizon.” He is making $1.6 million in the final year of a six-year deal.