Former UConn and current St. Joseph men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun accepted the “Best Coach” award at the ESPYs on Wednesday night. Calhoun, who won three national championships at UConn, emerged from retirement last year to coach the first ever men’s basketball team at St. Joseph, as the previously all-women’s school opened its doors to male students. Despite a roster composed almost entirely of freshmen, the Blue Jays finished 16-12 on the season and reached their conference championship game.
The “Best Coach" ESPY honor has been awarded annually to someone whose impact is judged to extend past wins and losses. Legendary high school coach Bob Hurley received the award in 2017, followed last year by three Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School coaches who died in the mass shooting there in February 2018.
ESPYs executive producer Maura Mandt said last month that the show sought to recognize not only Calhoun’s success as a coach but also his dedication to the job. She noted that he returned to the sidelines only weeks after undergoing surgery to remove half of his stomach.
Calhoun, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005, told The Courant he felt honored to be selected as “Best Coach."
Check out his speech....congrats coach!