Friday, June 06, 2008

Calhoun's bike ride, All-Star Game

Some Jim Calhoun news:

First off, his second annual Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge Bike Ride will be held on Sunday in Simsbury. The 50-mile ride begins at 8:30 a.m., the 25-mile at 9:30 a.m. and the 10-mile ride at 11 a.m.

Calhoun plans on starting the 50-mile ride, but if he becomes too fatigued, he will veer off and finish up on the 25-mile route. Afterwards, there will be a summer-style barbeque with music provided by local rock band Tire Biter (supposedly a Southern rock-type outfit. Never heard of them, but then I just moved to Connecticut. They should have hired my band, Dead Flowers. I'm the drummer and occasional vocalist. More on that another time ...)

The start and finish line for all the non-competitive rides will be at the Performing Arts Center at Simsbury Meadows on Iron Horse Boulevard. Between 500-600 riders and about 200 volunteers are expected for this event, and organizers hope to double the $244,000 raised at last year's inaugural ride.

Also, the annual Jim Calhoun Charity All-Star Game will be held on Aug. 9 at Mohegan Sun. Here's the press release on that one:

National Champion Collegiate Coach and Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun will host an alumni all-star basketball game – the Mohegan Sun / Jim Calhoun Charity All-Star Game – as part of the Mohegan Sun / Jim Calhoun Celebrity Classic. Proceeds from the game and the entire Mohegan Sun / Jim Calhoun Celebrity Classic will benefit the UConn Foundation, Inc.’s Jim and Pat Calhoun Cardiology Research Endowment Fund for the UConn Health Center.

This all-star basketball game, which has been sanctioned to allow NBA players to participate, will be played at 7:30PM at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, August 9, 2008. Most of the great players who have played for Coach Calhoun during the past twenty years are expected to participate. Ray Allen, Emeka Okafor, Ben Gordon, Rip Hamilton, Caron Butler, Kevin Ollie, Donyell Marshall, Khalid El-Amin, Doron Sheffer, Ricky Moore and Rudy Gay among others have played in past charity games at Mohegan Sun. Two teams of Coach Calhoun’s former players will play in a collegiate-style game.

“I am excited to be able to bring so many of my former players back together for what should be a special reunion for them and for the fans of Connecticut. I am also pleased that proceeds from the game will go to fight America’s number #1 killer – heart disease,” said Coach Calhoun.

Since 1999, the Mohegan Sun / Jim Calhoun Celebrity Classic has raised more that $2.5 million for cardiology research at the UConn Health Center’s Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center.

Mohegan Sun is the title sponsor and Big Y World Class Market and Comcast are the presenting sponsors of the Jim Calhoun Celebrity Classic and Jim Calhoun Charity All-Star Game. Other major sponsors of the event include: UConn Alumni Association; XL Center; Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New England; Omar Coffee; Globe Travel; Prime Materials Recovery; The Hartford Courant; WTIC NewsTalk 1080; and, Becker’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry.

Tickets are $22 to $29 and go on sale as of 10AM on Monday, June 9th through Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster customers may log on to; call any Ticketmaster Charge by Phone number (such as 860.525.4500 in the Hartford area); or visit any Ticketmaster outlet. Tickets may also be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Box Office starting Tuesday, June 10th subject to availability.

For more information about the Mohegan Sun / Jim Calhoun Charity All-Star Basketball Game and the Mohegan Sun / Jim Calhoun Celebrity Classic, please call the event’s organizers, Gold, Orluk & Partners, at 860.674.1500.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tranghese to step down as BE commish

Mike Tranghese will step from his position of commissioner of the Big East, effective June 30, 2009.

During a conference call this morning regarding his upcoming Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge bike ride, here's what Calhoun had to say about Tranghese's announcement:

"He's been an intrical part of the Big East, the first person employed by the Big East. Dave Gavitt founded it and Mike was the first person hired. He's been a terrific co-founder with David, they created Eastern basketball, changed the face of it. Teams like Villanova, Georgetown, UConn, Syracuse can win national championship, in my opinion, because of Mike and David."

Calhoun said Tranghese was the PA announcer at American International College during Calhoun's senior season there. He said that Trangheses has been talking about stepping down for a while.

"His fear of flying and the wear and tear of a full season probably (contributed to Tranghese's decision). It's a tough, tough day for us. We've been really blessed to have David, whose brainchild the Big East was, and Mike, who has been a terrific commissioner. It's a great day to celebrate him, but it's sad because Mike's done an incredible job during difficult times."

Here's the full press release on Tranghese's decision:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Michael A. Tranghese, the Commissioner of The BIG EAST Conference since 1990 and the league’s first full time employee in 1979, will step down from his position effective June 30, 2009.

“I have been privileged to work with outstanding Presidents and athletic directors for nearly 30 years,” said Tranghese. “Looking back to when Dave Gavitt created the conference, it is truly amazing how far we have come.”

Tranghese succeeded Gavitt as Commissioner on June 21, 1990 after 11 years of service to the BIG EAST, the previous nine years as associate commissioner. During his tenure as Commissioner, Tranghese has guided the league to its current 16-team alignment, the largest in the NCAA Division I.

Shortly after being named Commissioner, Tranghese directed and oversaw the creation of BIG EAST football, which began competition in 1991. His leadership helped the BIG EAST become a charter member of the Bowl Championship Series.

“I believe our conference is undergoing an unprecedented period of success,” Tranghese said. “Our basketball conference does not have to take a back seat to anyone and our football has progressed so quickly. Our Olympic sports are stronger than ever. And I believe everything is in place for the BIG EAST to be even better in the future.”

During his tenure, Tranghese has served as chair of several prestigious groups, including the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee, the Division I-A Commissioners, the Collegiate Commissioners Association and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Subcommittee on Television. He was on the NCAA’s negotiating team that secured a record $6 billion contract from CBS for broadcast rights to the men’s basketball championship.

Tranghese also served a two-year term as the lead administrator of the Bowl Championship Series.

Tranghese is an acknowledged leader in television negotiation and production and has been a central figure in every television negotiation in the league’s history. Currently, the BIG EAST has multi-year agreements with ESPN, Inc. and CBS Sports in basketball and ESPN, Inc. in football. The contracts are the most lucrative in the league’s history in terms of exposure and revenue.

Before the explosion of sports on cable television, Tranghese was the leader behind The BIG EAST Television Network, which operated through 1994. The BIG EAST Network was considered to be a benchmark for regional television networks.

“I am stepping down at this point because I believe it is the right time,” added Tranghese. “The Conference is in great shape and it will give my successor the best opportunity to be successful.”

Tranghese helped the BIG EAST get off the ground in 1979 after spending seven years as the sports information director at Providence College where he helped generate publicity for the nationally successful Friar basketball teams that were coached by Gavitt.

Tranghese’s career in college athletics began at American International College in his hometown of Springfield, Mass. He is a 1965 graduate of St. Michael’s College in Winooski, Vt. He is married to Susan Huntemann.