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UConn’s Kevin Ollie Close to Signing Big New Contract

UnknownNot that long ago, Kevin Ollie’s position as coach of Connecticut was in question. He followed Jim Calhoun, who won championships and was a fan favorite.

Pretty soon, Ollie will sign a new contract that will substantially increase his pay to nearly $3 million a year, according to ESPN. Such is the virtue of leading the Huskies to the NCAA national championship in March.

Ollie became a fan favorite then. And the former NBA player became the subject of myriad rumors that he would bolt college and take an NBA job, either with the Los Angeles Lakers or Cleveland Cavaliers.

He still might take that leap, but not this year. Ollie hasn’t signed the five-year-deal and is still negotiating two key points, including assistant coaching salaries as well as student athlete welfare issues, sources with direct knowledge told ESPN. But the sources say that Ollie and the school hope to have a deal done by Wednesday.

The contract will more than double Ollie’s salary. He was paid $1.25 million this past season. Ollie was originally given a seven-month contract when he replaced Calhoun, the Hall of Fame coach, in September 2012. Three months later, he was given a five-year contract worth an estimated $7.5 million. The new deal is projected to make Ollie the highest-paid coach in the American Athletic Conference.

The source said that no NBA team called UConn officials seeking permission to speak with Ollie, although teams may have called Ollie’s representatives.

The source said UConn first approached Ollie about a new contract after the Huskies beat Iowa State in the Sweet 16, but the sides didn’t get together until well after the Final Four.

Yahoo! Sports reported earlier Monday that Ollie and UConn agreed in principle to a $3 million-plus annual contract extension.

UConn’s men’s and women’s championship basketball teams are tentatively scheduled to make an appearance at the White House to meet with President Barack Obama in June.

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