UConn, Kevin Ollie talk new deal

ByAndy Katz ESPN logo
Friday, May 2, 2014

UConn coach Kevin Ollie and the university are in negotiations to double his salary after Ollie led the Huskies to the national championship in April, sources with direct knowledge of the situation told ESPN on Friday.

Ollie was paid $1.25 million this past season, his second as coach.

He initially received a seven-month contract when he was hired to replace Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun. In December 2012, Ollie was given a five-year contract worth $7.5 million.

The sources said UConn is looking to pay Ollie in the neighborhood of $2.4 million to $2.6 million annually.

One source said it would take "something substantial" for Ollie to leave UConn -- perhaps an offer from the Los Angeles Lakers or another NBA franchise.

"Kevin knows he's hot right now," one source said. "He's not thinking about leaving right now."

Ollie has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the Lakers' opening since Mike D'Antoni resigned on Wednesday. When reached Friday, Ollie said there was nothing going on with the Lakers. UConn athletic director Warde Manuel did not respond to ESPN for comment.

Lakers officials, meanwhile, planned to meet Friday to form a list of candidates, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. The Lakers have yet to formally contact any candidates, sources said, and are determined to cast as wide a net as possible as they look to "make a splash," as one source put it, with the hire.

On April 7, UConn beat Kentucky 60-54 in Arlington, Texas, for the national title. It was the fourth in school history -- all coming since 1999. Ollie, a former Huskies player who served as an assistant for two years before succeeding Calhoun, played 13 seasons in the NBA for 11 franchises.

A point of Ollie's new contract would be to make him the highest-paid coach in the American Athletic Conference and reward him for winning the national championship, the sources said.

"Kevin has a pro mentality," one source said, "but he's not leaving unless it's a great offer. It has to be something substantial for him to leave."

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