UConn hoops coach Calhoun taking medical leave
Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun will take a medical leave of absence.
Calhoun, 67, has had medical issues in the past. He had prostate cancer in 2003, has been treated for squamous cell carcinoma and broke several ribs last summer after a bike accident.
Calhoun, who has won 816 games in his career and was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005, also missed the team’s first-round NCAA tournament game last March after feeling ill.
"It is my recommendation that Coach Calhoun take a medical leave from his coaching position to address some temporary medical issues, none of which involve any previous medical conditions that he has dealt with,” Calhoun’s doctor, Peter Schulman, in a statement.
Calhoun has led the Huskies to two national titles in 1999 and 2004 and took UConn to the Final Four last season.
"It’s not cancer-related, not cardiac-related and he wasn’t hospitalized,” UConn spokesman Kyle Muncy told FOXSports.com.
Muncy said that Calhoun, who is in his 24th season at Connecticut, had been at home since early Tuesday afternoon.
Associate coach George Blaney will take over the team in the interim.
Indiana Pacers guard A.J. Price, who starred for UConn last season, found out about Calhoun’s leave shortly before Tuesday night’s game at Miami.
"Obviously, I’m concerned," he said. "I hope he’s OK. I hope it’s nothing too serious, that he’s able to come back and that he doesn’t end his career this way."
"He’s so passionate and emotional about the game. When it comes to actual gametime, that’s when he’s at his most intense. It really doesn’t matter if we’re winning, it’s a big game, not a big game, losing, it doesn’t matter, that’s just when he’s his most intense," Price said. "He’s such a competitor and with them playing the way they’re playing right now, not winning too much, that could also have something to do with it. Knowing what kind of guy he is, how much he wants to win, probably makes things more difficult for him right now."
The Huskies lost 68-63 at Michigan on Sunday.
"There’s no sugarcoating it: He doesn’t take losing well," Price said. "He’s a competitor and likes to win. He really doesn’t take losing well when he feels that he has a good team as well. That’s where I think he’s at right now. He feels like the team probably right now is underachieving a little bit."
Former UConn star Donyell Marshall posted on his Twitter account: "Get well Coach Calhoun. taking a medical leave of absence."
Last month, Calhoun said a new multiyear contract with the school was "just on the horizon." He is making $1.6 million in the final year of a six-year deal.
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.
UConn, which is 11-6 overall and 2-3 in the Big East, plays St. John’s on Wednesday night.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.