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After 26 years as head coach of the University of Connecticut men's basketball team, Jim Calhoun is reportedly going to announce his retirement at a news conference on Thursday. Since starting his coaching career with Northeastern in 1972, Calhoun has amassed a total of 873 wins, appeared four times in the Final Four (1999, 2004, 2009, 2011), and won the National title three times (1999, 2004 and 2011).

In holding true to his plan of mirroring the career of North Carolina coach Dean Smith, who retired right before the start of the 1996-97 season, Calhoun will walk away from the two years left on his contract with UConn, less than three weeks before the start the team's 2012-2013 campaign. In Calhoun's place will be his successor, Kevin Ollie, who will lead a Huskies squad that'll face a new crop of competition in the revamped Big East Conference.

On the court, Calhoun was the fiery coach who put everyone from his players to the media in their place. Off the court, the 70-year-old is a three-time cancer survivor and clear fighter who never let adversity stand in his way. Regardless of how he is remembered, there is no question that he will be remembered.    

[via ESPN]