From Comcast SportsNetSTORRS, Conn. (AP) -- As Jim Calhoun stood in his office at Gampel Pavilion, waiting for his final news conference as Connecticut's basketball coach, Pat Calhoun turned to her husband and gave him one final piece of advice."Don't change your mind," she said.Calhoun had stayed on at UConn through cancer and a recruiting scandal. He refused to retire after winning a third national championship in 2011 because he didn't want a new coach to serve his NCAA suspension. He came back again to finish last season after another absence, this one for spinal surgery.But on Thursday he finally retired -- on his own terms, with a hand-picked successor and no apologies."I never, ever, ever said that I was mistake free," Calhoun said. "But I was always trying to do the right thing. It didn't always work that way, but I was always trying to do the right thing."The 70-year-old Hall of Famer, on crutches after breaking a hip last month, made the announcement on the court in Storrs where he racked up many of his 873 total wins.He thanked everyone associated with the Huskies program -- administrators, players, fans and his family -- for his team's success, and played down both his health problems and troubles with the NCAA."There have been some bumps in the road," he said. "But we are headed in the right direction."Calhoun will take a transition appointment through next spring as a special assistant to athletic director Warde Manuel. When fully retired, he will become head coach emeritus.Calhoun has been slowed repeatedly by illness and accidents in recent years, including the fractured hip. He said the injury didn't cause him to retire, but gave him time to reflect on whether this would be a good time to leave."As I looked at everything. So many things are in place for us to even go farther that we have already," he said. "So I thought it was an excellent time."With just a month to go before the start of practice, there also was no time for a national search for a replacement. Assistant coach Kevin Ollie, who played point guard for Calhoun from 1991-95, but has never been a head coach at any level, will be the Huskies' new coach.Athletic director Warde Manual, who had balked at Calhoun's suggestions earlier this year to name Ollie as a coach in waiting, decided not to tag him with an "acting coach" label. He instead offered Ollie a contract that runs only through next April 4, with a pro-rated value of 384,615."I haven't seen him coach," Manuel said. "He's never been a head coach. This is a commitment to him to see what he is like as a head coach."Ollie, who played his way from the USBL to a 13-year NBA career, said he's not afraid of the challenge."I'm used to it," he said. "My first six years in the NBA, I didn't have no guaranteed contract. This is easy. This is exactly where I want to be at."Ollie takes over a team that returns only five players who saw significant playing time a year ago and failed to qualify academically for the 2013 NCAA tournament.Guard Ryan Boatright said the team didn't want to play for anyone other than Ollie, and will take it upon themselves to make sure his new coach gets to keep the job."He's a great person, and he loves us," Boatright said. "I wouldn't rather have nobody else than KO."Ollie is one of more than two dozen players whom Calhoun sent to the NBA, a list includes everyone from Reggie Lewis at Northeastern, to Cliff Robinson, Ben Gordon, Emeka Okafor, Rudy Gay, Ray Allen and Kemba Walker.Walker, who attended the news conference, said that will be a big part of Calhoun's legacy."He's showed us how to work," Walker said. "He's pushed me to be the best player and person I could be. He's one of the most special men in my life."Calhoun also will be remembered for turning a regional program into a national power -- winning an NIT championship in 1988, national titles in 1999, 2004 and 2001, 10 Big East regular-season championships and seven Big East Tournament titles."The thing that stands out to me is it's one thing to take over a Duke or a Kentucky and build it and win games and win championships," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, who went into the Hall of Fame with Calhoun in 2005. "But 26 years ago Connecticut wasn't even thought of in the college basketball world. He's turned them into one of the top programs in the country. I think it's really, to me, the greatest building job that anybody's ever done."Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell, who played for Calhoun from 1987 to 1991 said his influence goes beyond the basketball program. Calhoun, he said, made people aware that there was a University of Connecticut."When I went here, the number-one question we got, everywhere, was: Where is UConn? Isn't that in Alaska?" he said. "Nobody asks that anymore."
Will Likely, Maryland's star cornerback and punt returner, suffered a season-ending torn ACL in the second quarter of last week's game against Minnesota. The team announced Friday that Likely will miss the rest of the season.
The injury does not mean the end of Likely's role in Maryland football. Head Coach DJ Durkin said in a press release, "In the short time I've been here at Maryland, I understand and have a great appreciation for the significant impact Will Likely has had on our football program. He will continue to play a vital role in our program as we lean on him for his leadership and experience. I am confident Will has the work ethic, drive and focus to overcome this injury and continue his football career at the next level."
Likely is third in the country in combined kick return yards with 1197, and owns six different Maryland records. He leads the team in with three passes defended, and three pass break ups. Likely was named an FWAA First Team All-American in 2015, and First Team All-Big Ten two seasons in a row. A torn ACL means the end of the senior's career as a Terrapin.
Sophomore RaVon Davis or Freshman Elijah Daniels can be expected to fill in for Likely at corner, while sophomore D.J. Moore or senior Teldrick are projected to take over as returners.
The Terps play Michigan State on Saturday in College Park. Durkin has not yet decided the status of quarterback Perry Hills, who sat out the last game with an injured shoulder.
More than 60 children and adolescents from American Special Hockey Association programs skated with Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin during a skating session on Oct. 21 at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va.
The event marked the third consecutive season Ovechkin has hosted ASHA for a skating session at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. During the first skate in 2014, Ovechkin met 11-year-old Washington Ice Dogs player Ann Schaab and granted her request for a sushi date following a preseason game. Inspired by his relationship with Schaab, Ovechkin announced his plans to donate the car to ASHA during the National Hockey League’s 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend.
Ovechkin and Schaab’s friendship inspired the character Ann in the children’s book Drop the Puck, Let’s Play Hockey by Jayne J. Jones Beehler. Prior to the skate Schaab presented Ovechkin with a copy of the book in the Capitals locker room. Proceeds from book sales through Nov. 7 will benefit ASHA. The book is available for purchase online at http://www.officialadventures.org/.
Following the event, ASHA president Mike Hickey presented Ovechkin with the 2016 Inspiration Award in honor of Ovechkin’s commitment to the organization.
The skate marked one of many community initiatives Ovechkin will support throughout the 2016-17 season, including Ovi’s Crazy 8s. Ovechkin created Ovi’s Crazy 8s in 2006, a program through which he purchases and donates eight Capitals season tickets to Most Valuable Kids and ASHA, allowing fans who normally wouldn’t have access to tickets the opportunity to attend games. Ovechkin also supports organizations that grant wishes of sick children. In 2015, Washingtonian Magazine named Ovechkin as a ‘Washingtonian of the Year’ for his efforts in the community, including his relationship with ASHA. He also was a finalist for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership award, presented to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice.
Created in 2000 for players with development disabilities, ASHA gives people of all ages and abilities a chance to learn and grow by playing hockey. There are currently more than 60 ASHA programs in more than 54 cities throughout the United States. Programs skating with Ovechkin on Oct. 12 include the Baltimore Saints, Montgomery Cheetahs, Nova Cool Cats and Washington Ice Dogs, with participants ranging from ages eight through 30.