The decision to make Kevin Ollie the permanent head coach of the Connecticut Huskies was the right one for the school.
The Huskies are removing the interim title that was previously next to Ollie’s name and will give the new head coach a five-year contract extension.
After serving as an assistant under Jim Calhoun, Ollie took over Connecticut in September on a one-year deal after the legendary coach retired. Through the first two months of the season, he’s led the Huskies to a 9-2 record heading into their game against the Washington Huskies.
Ollie, the former NBA veteran of 13-years, played his college career with the Huskies being coached by Calhoun. In his senior year, he averaged 9.8 points, 6.4 assists and 2.5 rebounds.
In a time where a lot of changes are occurring within the Big East conference, with schools leaving and providing an unclear future, it was important for the Huskies to go with something familiar. It can’t be overlooked that it was important for Connecticut to go with someone who knows the program, given the uncertain times that remain ahead for the conference. Choosing Ollie was a perfect candidate for the Huskies given his history with the school.
It’s also a good choice given the way Connecticut has performed this season during a time the school is competing for essentially nothing. With post-season bans that won’t allow the Huskies to play in the NCAA Tournament or Big East Tournament, the team is still competing at a high level.
Guards Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright have led the way with their performances through the first two months. The 6-foot-1 guard Napier is averaging 16.8 points, 3.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 steals on the year. Boatright, a six-foot guard, is averaging 16.1 points, 4.7 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals. Ollie, the former 6-foot-2 point guard, has clearly helped the development of his two best players.
After receiving a lot of negative attention heading into the start of the regular season, the Huskies now head into their conference schedule with positive attention surrounding them.
Ollie has been one of the bright spot’s this season for Connecticut and today he was rightfully rewarded for it.