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Jim Calhoun will be paid more in retirement than he did coaching last year

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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You'd be smiling too if you had Jim Calhoun's retirement paycheck (Getty Images)

The final victory of Jim Calhoun's legendary coaching career won't show up on his career win-loss record.

He has negotiated a contract that will allow him to earn more in year one of retirement than he did to coach the team last season.

According to the Hartford Courant, Calhoun is guaranteed at least $2,742,307 of the $3 million he was scheduled to receive between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013. He earned $2.7 million last season, placing him behind the likes of Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino and John Calipari but still among the highest-paid coaches in the nation.

The breakdown of Calhoun's contract in the Courant is interesting because it sheds more light on his motivation to wait until mid-September to announce his retirement. Besides leaving UConn no choice but to hire Kevin Ollie as his replacement, Calhoun also had a lucrative financial incentive.

Had Calhoun retired last spring or even soon after fracturing his hip in an Aug. 4 bike accident, he'd have forfeited some or all of a $1.3 million payment due to him on Sept. 7 for speaking fees and media appearances. He instead collected that full payment by retiring Sept. 13.

UConn also agreed to retain Calhoun as a special assistant to the athletic director until March 15 at the $400,000 per year base salary he was making as coach, which means he'll receive about 70 percent of that sum. The school also generously agreed to pay him $1.15 million of the $1.3 million he would have received for speaking and media appearance fees in January had he remained as coach.

Even better for Calhoun, the money he receives from UConn this fiscal year may yet exceed $3 million depending on the decision he makes March 15 once his tenure as special assistant to the athletic director expires. He can choose to accept a $1 million payment or remain in a fundraising role at a salary of $300,000 per year for the next five years.

There are some who will probably chastise Calhoun for waiting until September to retire to get every penny out of his deal or for still being paid like one of the best coaches in college basketball post-retirement. Don't expect that here.

How many of us would do the same in Calhoun's shoes? You try to make every penny you can during you're professional career, whether it goes to yourself, your family or even to a charity of your choice some day.

If anyone deserves blame here, it's UConn for paying Calhoun such an exorbitant sum between now and his March 15 deadline to decide whether he wants to fully retire or continue working for the university in some role.

Nonetheless, Calhoun has made a lot of money for UConn because of the success of his basketball program. Now, post-retirement, he's getting some of it back.

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