Hard-driving Connecticut head basketball coach Jim Calhoun will take an immediate medical leave of absence to address "temporary issues," the school announced this afternoon. The nature of his health problem was not disclosed.
The announcement was accompanied by a statement from Calhoun's primary care physician, Dr. Peter Schulman: "It is my recommendation that coach Calhoun take a medical leave from his coaching position to address some temporary medical issues, none of which involves any previous medical conditions that he has dealt with."
UConn athletic director Jeffrey A. Hathaway also issued the following statement: "Our primary concern is coach Calhoun’s health and his complete recovery. We will do everything possible to support coach during this time. Jim and I both know that the men’s basketball program is in very capable hands under the leadership of associate head coach George Blaney."
The statement from Schulman that Calhoun's previous medical conditions are not a factor this time was a reference to the fact he's a three-time cancer survivor, including prostate surgery in 2003 and a skin cancer problem in 2008 when he had a lump removed from his neck near the jawline. Calhoun, 67,also has suffered from past gastric problems and missed some games two years ago because of stress-related issues. All together, Calhoun has missed 21 games for health reasons.
The Huskies (11-6, 2-3 Big East) next game is against St. John's (12-5, 2-3) Wednesday night in Hartford. UConn, which has lost three straight, then faces No. 1 Texas on Saturday at home.