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Air Force fires Minton after 16 seasons

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Posted: Monday March 13, 2000 10:11 PM


AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) -- Reggie Minton, Air Force's long-time basketball coach, will not have his contract renewed by the school.

Air Force athletic director Col. Randall Spetman said Monday that Minton would not be retained beyond the July 31 expiration of his contract.

"I have decided to make a coaching change at this time to attempt to infuse new energy in the program," Spetman said in a statement.

Spetman said the search for Minton's replacement would begin immediately and a new coach would be hired by June.

Minton started as an assistant coach in 1969 and took the reins in 1984, compiling a 150-295 record in 16 seasons. Minton left Air Force for one season in 1984 to coach Dartmouth.

Despite going 8-20 this season, Minton shared Mountain West Conference coach of the year honors with UNLV's Bill Bayno.

"We are very proud that Coach Minton was selected as the Mountain West Conference co-coach of the year and felt it was an opportune time for him to go out on top," Spetman said. "He is a personal friend who I have the utmost respect for, and want to thank both he and his family for all they've given to the Falcon family."

Recruiting for Air Force's basketball program is difficult. The academy cannot recruit from junior colleges, it has higher academic standards and a five-year military commitment that makes the school unattractive for players seeking NBA careers.

Minton is the third basketball coach in the school's history. Bob Spear coached from 1957-71 and Hank Egan coached from 1972-84.

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