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With the inaugural season of the University of Saint Joseph men’s basketball rapidly approaching, the university has decided to bring in a big gun to lead the troops into battle. For that, the university turned to a legend who lead a university from the same state to three national championships. Saint Joseph on Tuesday announced that Basketball Hall of Fame member and University of Connecticut legend, Jim Calhoun, will be the first ever head coach of their men’s basketball team.
“From the first day we started working with oach, it’s been momentous for all of us – especially our current student-athletes. In terms of recruiting all students, not just student-athletes, he has had what we call the “Calhoun Effect,” and we all enjoyed his talk where he emphasized that for all students, academics are the top priority,” said University of Saint Joseph President Rhona Free, Ph.D.
Since taking over the presidency of the university, Free oversaw a comprehensive research and review that lead to the college becoming a coeducational institution earlier this year.
Calhoun hasn’t coached basketball since his retirement from the UConn in 2012. “Whether it’s Division I or Division III, the kids are the kids and the game is the game and I’m looking forward to getting back out on the court and teaching these young men each and every day. I really missed being a part of a team, and we’re preparing for a great first season at USJ,” said Calhoun.
The former UConn coach brings 40 years experience to the job. In that time, he won three national championships, four Final Four appearances and an Associated Press Coach of the Year award. With Calhoun coming in, the Blue Jays will be getting one of the greatest coaches of all time.
A roster has not been put out yet. One thing that is on the minds of those outside the university is how much his stature and respect in the college basketball community will affect recruiting.
The first game in the history of St. Joseph’s Blue Jays men’s basketball will be against William Paterson University on November 9th at the Oosting Gymnasium on the campus of Trinity College in Hartford.