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Some reaction about Ollie's new 5-year contract

By Gavin Keefe

Publication: theday.com

Published December 29. 2012 6:00PM   Updated December 29. 2012 6:25PM

UConn coach Kevin Ollie has received a new five-year contract that will run through the 2017-18 season. The deal is worth about $7 million.

The announcement came during a press conference at the XL Center in Hartford before UConn beat Washington, 61-53.

Ollie was hired to replace Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun in September and given a seven-month contract. He's guided the Huskies to a 9-2 overall record.

Here's some reaction:

Ollie: "I am happy to be the head coach at Connecticut for an extended period of time. As I said in my first press conference, I want to be here for a lifetime and this is a step, hopefully a great step, in the program moving forward. I am very excited and thankful for this opportunity."

Athletic director Warde Manuel: "I spent a tremendous amount of time with Kevin since I came to UConn last year and even more time with him since he became our head coach. I am incredibly impressed with the way Kevin has led our program and his interaction with the administration, his coaching staff, the student-athletes and our donors and fans.

"His team has performed incredible on the floor and in the classroom. All these factors contributed to my thinking that the time was right to come to this agreement with Kevin."

UConn president Susan Herbst: "Kevin moved gracefully and seamlessly into this position of immense responsibility over the course of the fall. He demonstrated to all of us that he is a genuine leader of extraordinary talents.

"The first time I met Kevin, I could tell he was a special person, with proper perspective on life and on basketball. He will win and he will represent us well, everywhere he goes.

"As a university president, I think he has what matters most -- a commitment to our student-athletes as evolving young men and a dedication to academic progress. In these vital areas, Kevin will be a beacon of excellence."

Jim Calhoun: "With the new leadership of Susan Herbst and Warde Manuel and now with Kevin as the head basketball coach for the foreseeable future I feel very good about the future of the men's basketball program at UConn.

"I know Kevin will do a great job, as he already has, and I am looking forward to more success for the Huskies in the years to come."

Freshman Omar Calhoun: "It definitely feels good. Coach Ollie's a great guy. He wishes the best for everybody. He's the one who recruited me here, so it's definitely something that's relieving for the team."

Junior Enosch Wolf: "We're all so happy and proud. We all knew he deserved a contract. And we give it our all, on the court and off the court just to make sure he was going to get it."

More Ollie: "I appreciate the University for giving me this opportunity. It's just a dream come true for me to come back to my alma mater and be here to be the head coach and to follow Jim Calhoun, somebody I hold dear to my heart."

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar, who was an assistant at UCLA when Ollie played against the Bruins in the 1995 NCAA tournament:

"I want to congratulate Coach Ollie on his contract. He's an awesome person and an awesome basketball coach."

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