Jim Calhoun, former UConn coach, takes Division III team to NCAA Tournament

Jim Calhoun is one of the winningest coaches in college basketball history. After a stellar 26-year run at UConn, Calhoun announced his retirement back in 2012. Six years later, Calhoun returned to the game when he became the first ever head coach of the men’s basketball program at the University of Saint Joseph (Connecticut), which is a Division III school in West Hartford.

On Sunday, Calhoun returned to glory as Saint Joseph defeated Albertus Magnus, 88-84, to win the Great Northeast Athletic Conference’s tournament and earn an automatic bid for the Division III NCAA Tournament.

The victory marked a spectacular regular season for the Blue Jays, who put together a 26-2 record. In addition, Saint Joseph went 11-0 in conference play and have not lost since Nov. 23 when they were defeated by Tufts University.

It certainly has been a test for Calhoun since he took the job two years ago. Saint Joseph never accepted men into their institution before 2018, so the program was in its infant stages. Calhoun led the Blue Jays to a 16-12 (5-6) record in the program’s first season, which certainly is impressive. However, he took it to a different level this season. Saint Joseph has had a memorable season that produced a 25-game winning streak.

Of course, success is nothing new to Calhoun. The Hall of Fame coach won three national titles during his time at Connecticut with the final one coming in 2011. His 913 wins are currently good for 10th all-time in NCAA history and Calhoun is one of just 10 coaches to reach the 900-win plateau in their career.

Calhoun definitely has shown that he can still coach with the best of them even with a relatively new program. 

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