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Calhoun reveals he had surgery for cancer in May, says he may want to coach again

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer
Calhoun has endured a litany of health problems over the past 10 years but has beaten them all. (Getty Images)

Months before he decided to retire from the program he famously built up, Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun secretly battled cancer -- and won. Again.

The 70-year-old, who previously defeated skin and prostate cancer, underwent surgery on his lungs to remove a cancerous growth. Calhoun recently broke the news during a taping for "Center Stage" on the YES Network. According to Calhoun, doctors believed the cancerous growth could have been related to his previous battle with skin cancer, which he overcame in 2008.

Calhoun confirmed the story to the Associated Press Monday.

"It was cancer-related, yes," he told The Associated Press. "I'm not going to talk about it. I was out for a day and a half. I'm completely healthy now."

Ha! Typical Calhoun. A hard-ass to the end. Just a little cancer surgery, you know the usual, nothing more. You can leave me alone about it now.

As we should. His matter, his health, his business. It's just so Calhoun, though. There should be a separate wins column on his basketball resume, one for all the health battles conquered, that in addition to the 866 Ws he racked up in 40 seasons at Northeastern and UConn.

The interesting facet to this revelation is knowing, at that point, all that was Calhoun's mind (presumably) was returning to his job. The procedure was but three months removed from a spinal operation Calhoun underwent in February, too. A bike accident in September sent Calhoun to the hospital again, that bump in the road being the straw that broke his will to coach one more year. Kevin Ollie was handed the job almost immediately following his retirement, and he's currently coaching out an eight-month contract.

If all this isn't enough of a eyebrow-raiser, consider this final tag to the AP's report: "Calhoun also told YES that he has not completely ruled out a return to coaching."

Having kicked the crap out of cancer again, it appears Calhoun could be ready to treat his coaching career the same way he has the disease: by getting back up and having another go of it. It would come as a shock to no one inside college hoops to find out the man's urge to teach is already burning once again.

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