Calhoun looks forward to sharing his knowledge as ESPN college hoops analyst

Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Coach Jim Calhoun, who led UConn to three NCAA National Championships (1999, 2004, 2011), joins ESPN as a men’s college basketball analyst for the 2014-15 season. Calhoun’s analyst assignments will include studio programming, joining select game telecasts and conducting sit-down interviews with top figures in the game.

His ESPN debut this season will be from the State Farm Champions Classic, Nov. 18, in Indianapolis.

Thursday night in Hartford, the film “Born to Lead: Jim Calhoun” premiered. The film provides a unique look into his 40-year legacy as a great coach and outspoken personality.

Calhoun shared his thoughts on his new ESPN gig and the documentary with Front Row:

Jim Calhoun (Allen Kee/ESPN Images)
Jim Calhoun (Allen Kee/ESPN Images)

What will you bring to ESPN’s comprehensive college basketball coverage?
I have been at most levels in the college basketball spectrum – grad assistant, assistant, high school coach and a collegiate head coach for 40 years. I have also been in the mid-major conferences, in the locker room before a national championship or trying to rally a team at halftime. I have been there, where a lot of these programs are or seeking to be, and being only two years removed from coaching I have maintained so many of the relationships that I think will help me bring a good perspective and insight to the basketball coverage.

How will you differentiate yourself as an ESPN college basketball analyst?
I think my past experiences will allow me to have a different perspective and I will be able to ask hard questions because I have been there before. I hope to add insight that others may not have.

What made you decide to “come out of retirement” and get back into the college basketball game?
To sum it up, I genuinely miss the game. It is another way to still be in the game, and to spend time with people that love the game as much as I do. After 40-plus years of coaching, this is a good way to do it, a natural next step.

What was it like seeing your life run across a big screen?
It was very surreal, a full hour of where I have been and what I have done. It touches on so many different aspects of my life – talking with my sister, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, my former player Ray Allen and so many more that have been such a big part of who I am.

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