BRISTOL– Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Coach Jim Calhoun, who led the University of Connecticut to three NCAA National Championships (1999, 2004, 2011), has joined ESPN as a men’s college basketball analyst. Calhoun will provide expert insight and analysis across ESPN, including studio programming, joining select game telecasts and conducting sit-down interviews with top figures in the game.
Calhoun, along will new college basketball analyst Shane Battier, will first appear on the network from the State Farm Champions Classic – the early-season, neutral-site men’s doubleheader to be played Tuesday, Nov. 18, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The culminating event of the College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon showcases preseason-ranked No. 18 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Duke at 7 p.m., followed by No. 10 Kansas vs. No. 1 Kentucky at 9 p.m., with a special one-hour edition of College GameDay Covered by State Farm at 6 p.m.
“Jim’s experience coaching – and winning – in the sport’s biggest games, and as a teacher of several of its best players gives him an invaluable insight as an analyst,” said Mark Gross, senior vice president production & remote events in a press release from ESPN. “That knowledge and ability to see the game as it develops provides our coverage with a perspective that will serve fans through any storyline the season brings.”
“I love the game of basketball and am excited for this chance to share my passion with ESPN viewers,” said Calhoun in the news release. “Being an NCAA coach has not only provided me with a unique perspective on the game, but also the opportunity to meet some interesting and inspiring people, and I look forward to having the chance to share their stories.”
Calhoun spent 26 years as head coach of the University of Connecticut men’s basketball program and a total of 40 as a collegiate head coach from 1972-2012 (14 years at Northeastern). His coaching success story includes three NCAA National Championships (1999, 2004, 2011) at Connecticut, and four appearances in the Final Four. Calhoun’s overall record as a head coach is 873-380, one of only eight Division I coaches in NCAA history to earn their way into the 800-win club. During his 26 history-making years as head coach at Connecticut, he compiled an overall record of 625-243.
He earned basketball’s highest honor while still an active coach, election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Class of 2005. He also was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of its founding class in 2006. In April of 2005, Calhoun became just the seventh recipient of the prestigious John R. Wooden “Legends of Coaching Award” presented by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Calhoun has had great success producing top flight collegiate stars who have also excelled on the professional level. Twenty-six of Calhoun’s Connecticut players have competed in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The ESPN press release explained: Calhoun and his wife Pat are known for their philanthropic efforts. The annual Calhoun Classic Weekend features a Celebrity Charity Basketball All-Star Game and Celebrity Classic Golf Tournament with proceeds benefiting the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center at UConn. The Calhoun Classic has raised millions in support of the Cardiology Center endowment fund. Calhoun also hosts the Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride and Walk to benefit the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UConn Health Center, and is an outspoken advocate for the group Autism Speaks.