UConn announced on Saturday the firing of head basketball coach Kevin Ollie, who took over for Jim Calhoun starting in 2012. Ollie led the Huskies to a surprise title in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the program’s first year in the AAC.
Ollie’s success resulted in a contract extension that raised his yearly salary to nearly $3 million. That was how much the University paid Ollie in each of the last two seasons as the Huskies finished below .500. This year’s team ended up in 8th in the AAC, behind the likes of UCF, Tulsa and Temple.
Firing Ollie without cause will cost the University $10 million in buyout money. However, there is an ongoing NCAA investigation, announced back in January, that cites UConn and Ollie as involved parties. The nature of that investigation is still not known publicly, but the University plans to use that investigation as “just cause” in this situation.
Saving $10 million will be key as UConn AD David Benedict looks ahead at potential replacements. Many of the same names floating around for the Pitt opening will pop up for UConn, as well. Dan Hurley and Tom Crean are early, popular candidates, though many more will surely be linked to the job in the coming days/weeks.