- Dear Abby
- Games & Puzzles
- Events & Exhibits
- Food & Drink
- Arts & Music
- Movies & TV
And so while Jim Calhoun ponders the question once posed by The Clash - should I stay or should I go - (and darling, you gotta let us know) a more troublesome issue hovers like cigarette smoke:
Did we miss the memo when Calhoun became the athletic director at UConn, too?
No, really. I get that he is the most influential sports personality in the history of the state. Maybe one day we'll all look back at three national championships in Storrs, CT and wonder if one statue is enough.
But this idea that he gets to name his successor assumes facts not in evidence. Like this: It's not his place. Calhoun is the basketball coach. By definition: coach basketball. Not administrate. This is athletic director Warde Manuel's call. Not to mention his butt on the line.
Now I have no idea - zero - how this plays. But here's what I have heard: Spies in the athletic department say they've hard he's leaning toward retirement. Maybe that's what Calhoun wants everyone to think. Maybe not. Some believe he's waiting as long as he can to handcuff the school and force it to name Kevin Ollie as the new coach.
There are fewer theories about the Kennedy Assassination.
My guess is that we'll all find out from some national news agency, which is the way news about Calhoun always breaks. Connecticut outlets aren't important enough. Vegas has already installed ESPN's Andy Katz as a three-point favorite.
But while we're speculating on the speculation, I've found it a little disarming that Ollie's name is the only one being floated as a replacement. Understand that Manuel should be under no obligation to pick Calhoun's recommendation. He gets to conduct the search the way he sees fit and find his man.
That's his job.
But has anyone considered that, if we're staying on staff, Glen Miller would be a way better choice?
True, this puts Miller in a tough spot, between his boss and a colleague. But the truth is the truth. Miller is an experienced head coach in Division I with ties to UConn. Not a bad starting point.
Miller's career began in our corner of the world, taking 4-22 Connecticut College to the Division III Final Four three years later. He went to Brown and won more games in a three-year period than any other coach in program history. He nearly won the Ivy League (four straight winning seasons) at a place where basketball was a perpetual afterthought and even made the National Invitation Tournament. He went to Pennsylvania and made the NCAA tournament in his first season.
After that, though, the poohbahs at Penn decided he wasn't a "Penn guy" and fired him in midseason, 2009. My, how things have improved with "Penn guy" Jerome Allen and his sparkling 39-43 record since.
I've often wondered how Miller, a career 81-59 in the Ivy League, would fare at a school without the recruiting restrictions of his last three outposts.
What, I can't ask?
At least Miller has head coaching experience. Ollie does not. I'm not sure how or why UConn would possibly name a successor to a Hall of Famer who has never been a head coach.
In fairness: Ollie has an NBA resume and could use that as a valuable recruiting tool. Nice guy. But is he polished enough to be the face of the university? Can he compensate for his lack of experience?
I spent a lot of time with Miller in the old days. I know him to be a terrific coach, tougher than Clorox.
And here's what else I know: The University of Rhode Island will regret not giving Miller a sniff when the Rhody job opened last year. Rhode Island opted for Danny Hurley who, most likely, will use the job as a means to another one in a bigger league. Miller would have made URI a devotion.
But I digress.
This is about UConn, its current coach, future coach and how the process plays. I have no idea - and neither does anyone else - about what happens. But I'll be glued to ESPN for sure. Meantime, let's not all assume that Kevin Ollie is the best candidate. It's Glen Miller.
This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.