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"He's a relentless personality, a relentless coach and he just never allows himself to give in to anything," Blaney said. "He attacked this the way he attacks the game and the way he attacks life, and didn't let anyone feel sorry for him."
Calhoun's players say it's that personality that makes him so successful.
Gay, a Memphis swingman, laughed as he recalled his first UConn practice, when the kind, even sweet coach with the open-door policy turned into the raving perfectionist who would push him harder than he ever imagined.
"On the court, he's crazy, but off the court, he'll do anything for you," Gay said. "He's the most loyal guy I know."
Calhoun joked that his players keep coming back to UConn to commiserate, having all been through the same ordeal, pushed past the same limits and "called the same names."
Allen said it has more to do with saying, "thank you."
"All the guys who played at UConn have Calhoun's voice in there mind somewhere, in the back of their head somewhere as they are moving throughout life, whether doing something right or wrong," Allen said. "You know that there is something that he instilled in you that allowed you to be who you are today."
Calhoun said his prognosis is good, and he expects to be at full strength by the time his 23rd season begins in November.
As for when it might be time to call it a career, Blaney said he and Calhoun sometimes talk about that, but neither of them seem to know.
One thing is sure. It's not time to retire yet, and certainly not because of this.
"He's the Energizer bunny," Okafor said. "He just keeps on going."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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