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Report: UConn coach Kevin Ollie telling people he will not leave for Thunder job

Kevin Ollie

Kevin Ollie


It’s a little hard to take what a college hoops coach says about not leaving at face value. It’s an industry seemingly built on telling recruits you’ll be there for them for four years, that they are joining your family, only to bolt if you can find an upgrade.

But more and more it seems UConn coach Kevin Ollie is serious about staying at his university and not going after the Oklahoma City Thunder job.

Not long after Scott Brooks was fired Ollie’s name was linked to the job — the Thunder had been after him for almost a year — but he denied he wanted it. Still the reports and rumors would not go away, in part because Kevin Durant (who played a season with Ollie) expressed such strong admiration of him.

Thursday there was this from ESPN’s Andy Katz.

UConn men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie has told those close to him on campus that he is staying at the school despite the current vacancy with the Oklahoma City Thunder, sources told ESPN’s Andy Katz on Thursday.

Thursday Ollie also put this on Facebook, which implies he is staying but does not say it directly.


If the Thunder, as rumored, do reach out to Florida head coach Billy Donovan, Ollie will walk away not wanting to be seen as the second choice.

Ollie and Donovan both may make very good NBA head coaches. However, if the goal is to elevate the Thunder to elite status — like when the Bulls replaced Doug Collins with Phil Jackson back in the Jordan era — is going with a first year college coach the answer? I think there may be better NBA guys who will be available if the Thunder are patient.