At a press conference later today, legendary UConn Basketball Coach Jim Calhoun is expected to announce his retirement.  He has been such a fixture in this state, not only for basketball, but for his charitable work, that it’s hard to imagine the team without him.

His contract, which you can download here, runs through 2014.  And its easy to see that UConn and Calhoun did imagine a scenario where he was no longer with the team.

How so? Well, there is an escape clause in the agreement that spells out exactly what should happen in this circumstance. In Paragraph 10.1(a), it allows for Calhoun to resign or retire anytime after the 2010-11 season.

And more than that, it specifies the level of benefits the coach is to receive upon retirement, namely either $1,000,000 or appointment as a non-tenured track employee int he University’s Division of Athletics for a period of up to five years at a salary of $300,000 per year.

We may hear some details that this contract was renegotiated recently to provide Calhoun with a different sort of severance benefit. (Update: A UConn Press Release this afternoon suggests that there is a transition agreement.)  Regardless Calhoun’s contract is a great reminder to not only plan for an employment relationship to continue, but also for its end. Understanding what the obligations are upon termination and the benefits that an employee is entitled to, are important ways to avoid a future claim under the contract.