A lot has gone on at the University of Connecticut over the past month. Changes have been made, the biggest of which has come from the top. UConn President Michael Hogan has announced his resignation, as he will leave at the end of June to become the President at the University of Illinois. His departure leaves a mighty void in leadership for UConn in the coming months. With the talk about UConn possibly leaving the Big East for the Big Ten or ACC, the lack of an experienced UConn leader might hurt the university’s chances of moving to a top conference like the Big Ten.
- Speaking of the Big Ten…The Conference held their annual meetings of athletic directors and coaches in Chicago, this past week. Many thought news on expansion would come out of the meeting, but no new news became available. Conference commissioner Jim Delany made it clear that the conference’s timetable for expansion announcements is 12-18 months. UConn and other schools will have to wait for a possible invite.
- UConn Football continues to gain some respect from national media. Athlon Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN’s Brian Bennett, and other national media, have all ranked or discussed UConn as a preseason top-25 team for the 2010 season. Randy Edsall and his players will have the biggest amount of hype for a season in team history. The Huskies begin the season on September 4th, when they travel to college football powerhouse Michigan.
- The main figure at UConn will be around for a few more years. Men’s Basketball coach, Jim Calhoun, has signed a five-year, $13 million contract. His total compensation in the 2011-12 year will be $2.7 million and he will receive $3 million in each of the final two years of the contract. The new contract includes multiple clauses that could come into play over the next few seasons. Since UConn is under investigation by the NCAA for recruiting violations, UConn can terminate Calhoun if the punishment is large enough. There is also a clause that would allow Calhoun to remain at UConn, even after he retires, as an advisor in the athletic department.
Calhoun explained why he signed the new contract and how he will asses it in the coming years. “I want to coach at UConn,” Calhoun said. “But I also think that I want to make sure I compete with the passion, the energy and be there all the time for them, and that’s what I need to make sure I assess every single year.”
Comparing the amount of money Calhoun will make as the highest paid state employee, to UConn’s other head coaches, Women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma, who has guided his teams to seven NCAA titles, has an average annual salary of $1.6 million. Connecticut football coach Randy Edsall makes about $1.5 million per year.