Friday, July 2, 2010
Ollie says he's joining UConn's staff
By Andy Katz ESPN.com
The Connecticut men's basketball program took the first step toward cleansing itself of an NCAA investigation by hiring former player Kevin Ollie to be an assistant coach.
Ollie, a 12-year NBA veteran, told ESPN.com in a text message Friday that he had signed a contract late Thursday night and would send in his retirement papers to the NBA office this weekend.
The 37-year-old Ollie played four years at UConn (1992-96) for Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun. After going undrafted, Ollie began his pro career in the CBA, then played for 12 NBA teams. His longest stay was with Philadelphia from 2004 to 2008.
Ollie also was the only Cleveland Cavalier to play in all 82 games during LeBron James' rookie season in 2003-04. He had a limited role as a reserve last season with Oklahoma City.
Ollie brings an impeccable reputation to Connecticut's staff in a time of tumult. Assistant coach Pat Sellers and director of basketball operations Beau Archibald were forced to resign in May after the NCAA and UConn alleged they gave false and misleading statements during a recently concluded investigation into the recruitment of former UConn signee Nate Miles.
UConn will appear before the NCAA's committee on infractions in Indianapolis Oct. 15-16 and is preparing a response to the allegations of recruiting impropriety.
Former Penn and Brown coach Glen Miller, who played for Calhoun at Northeastern in the 1980s, replaces Archibald as director of men's basketball operations.
"I am thrilled to be able to welcome Kevin and Glen back to UConn," Calhoun said in a statement Friday. "They both bring incredible experience to our staff and tremendous values that our players will benefit from."
Ollie will hit the road to evaluate high school players beginning Tuesday, the start of the initial 10-day recruiting period, which is followed by a break and another 10-day evaluation period. Ollie said the stretch "reminds me of my 10-day contracts." He played under three 10-day contracts in the NBA.
Ollie joins Calhoun's staff at a time when the 68-year-old Calhoun is about to begin a new four-year contract. Ollie replaces Sellers and joins Andre LaFleur as UConn's assistants who will go on the road to recruit players.
Ollie's decision to work at UConn comes on the heels of another former Huskies player, Donyell Marshall, deciding earlier this week to join Karl Hobbs' staff at George Washington as an assistant coach. Hobbs was a UConn assistant during Marshall's playing days in Storrs.
Andy Katz is a senior writer for ESPN.com.