With two national championships and more than 700 wins now on his coaching resume, UConn's Jim Calhoun finds the door to the Hall of Fame is closed no longer.
A source with knowledge of the notification process told The Courant that Calhoun was informed Thursday he has been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. Calhoun will be introduced as part of the Class of 2005 Monday morning at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis, site of the Final Four.
Calhoun, who has a career record of 703-210, was one of 16 finalists announced in February. Among the other candidates nominated by the North American Screening Committee was Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. It was not known Thursday if Boeheim was elected. It is Boeheim's first time as a finalist.
Enshrinement weekend is Sept. 8-10 in Springfield.
Calhoun was elected in his second consecutive year as a finalist. He was one of 16 finalists in 2004, but did not receive enough votes from the Hall of Fame's Honors Committee.
Election requires a finalist to receive at least 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee. Balloting is secret and results are not announced, but sources told The Courant last year that Calhoun missed by one vote.
``As I said last year when told that I was a finalist for the Basketball Hall of Fame, I am very proud and deeply humbled,'' Calhoun said in February. ``The Naismith Hall of Fame is the ultimate destination for a basketball coach. I love the game of basketball and I've spent my entire life playing and coaching in New England in the shadow of the Hall of Fame.''
Joining Calhoun and Boeheim as finalists this year were Maurice Cheeks, Adrian Dantley, Joe Dumars, Dennis Johnson, Bernard King, Dominique Wilkins, Chet Walker and Hubie Brown (North American); Van Chancellor and Sue Gunter (Women's); Sandro Gamba and Hortencia Marcari (International); and John Issacs and John Kerr (Veterans).
Calhoun reached the 700 club this season with an 83-64 victory over Georgetown March 2. UConn shared the Big East regular season championship with Boston College and the Huskies received the No. 2 seed in the Syracuse Regional. But their season ended with a 65-62 loss to North Carolina State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
There was great anticipation when UConn reached the Final Four last year because Calhoun could have been named to the Hall of Fame and won the national championship on the same day. The Huskies delivered the championship with an 82-73 victory over Georgia Tech, but Calhoun was not in the six-member Class of 2004.
Calhoun, also the recipient of the 2004-05 John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching award, just completed his 19th season at UConn, where he is 455-173. He has taken the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament 13 times, with 10 appearances in the Sweet 16 and six in the Elite Eight. UConn's first national championship came in 1999.
Calhoun, in his third year of eligibility, was nominated in 2003 but didn't get enough support from the North American screening committee to become a finalist
April 1, 2005: News Is Hall Good. Source: Calhoun Notified of Election
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