WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (Sept. 28, 2017) – The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) announced today that Hall of Famer and former University of Connecticut (UConn) Men's Basketball Head Coach Jim Calhoun will serve as a consultant to the University's first-ever men's basketball program and as an advisor to the president. Calhoun will advise on all aspects of establishing operations for the men's basketball team for fall 2018, when USJ full-time undergraduate programs become coeducational. USJ President Rhona Free, Ph.D., called Coach Calhoun's willingness to share his expertise, "the single best thing we could have asked for as we prepare to build this program from the ground up."
Dr. Free said today's announcement illustrates how the decision to admit undergraduate men can enhance the overall USJ experience for all students.
"When our men's basketball team is formed next year for its inaugural season, it will be founded on the principals and insights of someone who shares our commitment to preparing students for lifetime success; Coach Calhoun's stature will be a game changer in the awareness of USJ nationally, and illustrates our commitment to overall excellence of faculty and staff throughout the institution," President Free said. "In 1986, when Jim Calhoun accepted the job as head men's basketball coach at UConn, he famously said he thought succeeding in that role and putting UConn on the college basketball map was 'doable.' We all know what a historic success that turned out to be. Today, we are grateful that he will apply his expertise to set our program up for success from the start."
Coach Calhoun, who won three NCAA National Championships at UConn during his time there, from 1986-2012, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005.
"Even though I stepped away from coaching five years ago, my passion for college basketball and helping young scholar athletes become the best they can be has always remained," Coach Calhoun said. "It will be an honor to work with the team of Rhona Free and the Sisters of Mercy, and to play a role in starting something great with the first-ever USJ men's basketball team in 2018."