ESPN’s college basketball coverage has added a third ex-coach to its coverage, as former UConn coach Jim Calhoun is joining the network. Calhoun joins Stan Heath and Craig Robinson as new faces with ESPN this year, joining fellow coaches Seth Greenberg, Dick Vitale, and Bob Knight.
Calhoun’s hiring, first reported by The Big Lead and later confirmed to the Hartford Courant, is mainly a studio role. Calhoun will work in the studio for ESPN, appear on SportsCenter, and travel to games every so often. He initially retired from UConn two years ago because of various health issues, but has apparently overcome them.
Calhoun is one of the most successful coaches in college basketball history and has three national championships to his name. It is interesting to note that Calhoun may be one of the oldest individuals to make his television analyst debut at 72.
It’s impossible to predict how Calhoun, or either of the other two hires, will do at ESPN. Knight’s had his highs and lows. Greenberg’s been great. Vitale is Vitale. Bruce Pearl was pretty solid before jumping back into the coaching ranks. Based on that history, I’d assume ESPN knows what they’re doing with these hires. Calhoun was never really known for his sunny disposition at UConn though, so it’ll be interesting to see how he relates to viewers.