With the retirement of Jim Calhoun, there is now a new head coach at for the UConn Huskies men’s basketball program. And it’s a familiar face in Kevin Ollie.
Here’s the release from UConn:
STORRS, Conn. (September 13, 2012) — Kevin Ollie, a former UConn student-athlete who has served as an assistant coach at the University of Connecticut for the past two seasons and is a 13-year NBA veteran, has been named the head men’s basketball coach at UConn.
Ollie will have a contract that runs through April 4, 2013, and will be paid at an annualized rate of $625,000. He becomes the 18th head coach in the history of the UConn program and only the fourth since the 1969-70 season.
“I am very honored and humbled to become the UConn men’s basketball coach,” said Ollie. “I cannot put in words how grateful I am to Coach Jim Calhoun, who retires today as one of the most legendary coaches in the history of college basketball. Coach Calhoun brought me here to Connecticut as a person right of high school and has mentored me into the person I have become today.
“I am also extremely grateful to President Susan Herbst and Director of Athletics Warde Manuel for providing me with this opportunity. I look forward working with Warde to continue the success of our men’s basketball program.”
“Since I have come to UConn, I have spent a tremendous amount of time with Kevin and I have enjoyed getting to know him,” said Director of Athletics Warde Manuel. “He is a quality person and I have been impressed with the way he interacts with our student-athletes on and off the court. Kevin knows the Husky program from his experiences as a student-athlete, a professional basketball player and an assistant coach here at UConn. He has taken the steps to prepare him for this opportunity and I am proud to name him as our head men’s basketball coach.”
Ollie is a graduate of UConn who played 13 seasons in the NBA, completing his career in 2009-10 as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. He played for 11 different franchises in his NBA career, playing in 662 career contests.
Ollie was a two-time team captain at UConn and helped lead the Huskies to BIG EAST Regular Season Championships in 1993-94 and 1994-95, advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, respectively, in those seasons. Ollie was an All-BIG EAST Third Team selection as a senior in 1994-95 and was named to the UConn Basketball All-Century Team in 2001. He still stands No. 3 all-time at UConn in assists and No. 1 at UConn in assists in BIG EAST contests.
Kevin and his wife, Stephanie, have a son, Jalen, and daughter, Cheyenne.
Born December 27, 1972, Ollie is a native of Los Angeles where he attended Crenshaw High School.
photo credit: bettina hansen– hartford courant