Before Jim Calhoun ever coached a college basketball game he had worked as a grave digger, a granite cutter, a headstone engraver, a scrap yard worker, and a factory worker.
His father died when he was 15 and as the eldest boy, the responsibility to provide for the family – a total of seven people including himself, his mother and five siblings – fell to him.
Calhoun earned a basketball scholarship to Lowell State, only to have to leave three months after school started to support his family. It was over the next two years that he worked the aforementioned jobs.
“Those years I worked, I was upset that I wasn’t in college.” said Coach Calhoun when I asked him to reflect on that time in his life. “When I wasn’t around that environment I thought, ‘Maybe there is another plan for me.’ And part of the plan was that I built confidence in myself, in what I could do. And learning how to work for something that you really, really think is meaningful. That you really care about.”