Ollie, Ollie Oxen Go Free: UConn May Pay Big Price Playing Game With Coaching Job
At first glance, Connecticut appears to be taking the ultimate short-term risk in filling the big shoes of retiring legend Jim Calhoun. Assistants George Blaney (29), Karl Hobbs (10) and Glen Miller (11) were available with a total of 50 years of Division I head coaching experience. This assistant trio also had a cumulative 29 years as UConn aides to Calhoun, but the Huskies chose to give Kevin Ollie an opportunity in 2012-13 and beyond (five-year contract awarded near end of calendar year) although he has a meager total of two seasons as an assistant coach.
Is Ollie being thrown in way over his head to sink or swim in the Big East Conference ocean? The other 14 league coaches have an average of 24.4 years of experience as an assistant or head coach at the collegiate and NBA levels, ranging from Seton Hall's Kevin Willard (15 including administrative roles with the Boston Celtics under Rick Pitino) to Syracuse's Jim Boeheim (43).
Nearly one-fifth of the nation's current DI schools didn't need to pay moving expenses because they promoted coaches from with-in their ranks. Among the 65 active head coaches in this category, the average tenure as an aide before being promoted to bench boss was 5.2 years.
Believe it or not, Ollie is among 16 active DI head coaches who were employed by the school less than three seasons prior to being hired to their current positions. Following is a list from shortest to longest assistant stints for said individuals: