ODU fires men's basketball coach Blaine Taylor
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Old Dominion University fired men's basketball coach Blaine Taylor on Tuesday with eight games still remaining in the regular season.
Taylor has the most wins in school history, compiling 239 victories over 12 seasons, but his team is 2-20 this year and has lost 10 straight.
The move comes in a season when Old Dominion is ineligible to play in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament because it is leaving the league following the season and joining Conference USA.
Neither athletic director Wood Selig nor ODU President John Broderick took questions after making the announcement during a news conference at the school's on-campus arena. Taylor has two years remaining on his contract and school officials did not specify whether he would be paid out for that. Taylor's base salary is $208,000 plus $30,000 for television appearances and $30,000 for radio appearances.
His contract states that the athletic success of the men's basketball program "will not, in and of itself, constitute `good cause' for termination.''
According to Selig's statement, that was not the reason for Taylor was let go.
"This decision is not based solely on wins and losses, but a number of factors by which a head coach is evaluated,'' Selig said. "At this point, in regard to our head men's basketball coach, our student athletes need more mentorship, leadership and guidance. Our fans and alumni need encouragement. Our administration needs confidence in our leadership.''
Taylor did not attend the news conference and was informed of Selig's decision earlier in the day. Selig and Broderick told Taylor's players of their decision ahead of the news conference and tapped associate head coach Jim Corrigan to serve as the interim coach for the remainder of the season.
During his tenure, he led the Monarchs to an average of more than 24 victories over the past eight seasons.
With a style built on rebounding and rugged defense, the Monarchs reached the NCAA tournament four times in the past eight seasons, winning in the first round in 2010. They have also played in the NIT, reaching the semifinals in 2006, won the championship of the inaugural collegeinsider.com tournament in 2009 and also played in the CIT last season and in the College Basketball Invitational in 2008.
In 2007, Taylor's team lost to George Mason in the CAA championship game and, with a 24-8 record, earned the league's first at-large bid to the NCAA tournament in 21 years.
Old Dominion's 28-6 record in 2004-05 is the best in school history, and Taylor guided the Monarchs to 27-win seasons in 2009-10 and 2010-11. His record at Old Dominion is 239-144, and his career mark, including seven years as the head coach at his alma mater, Montana, from 1991-98, is 380-210.
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