In the world of high stakes college basketball, sometimes it's more than W's and L's, its more about graduating players on a continuing basis, it's about direction or as was put in a simple release by the Boston University Athletic Department today, it's about leadership and direction, which is the prime reason given why the decision "to fire men's basketball coach Dennis Wolff was made after 15 seasons.
"We greatly appreciate the contributions that Denis made during his 15 years at BU,'' said assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics Mike Lynch in a statement announcing the Wolff's dismissal.To a man, his student-athletes competed hard on the court, earned their degrees in the classroom and represented BU well in the community. We wish Dennis nothing but the best in his future endeavors.
When contacted last night, Wolff seemed surprised, but not stunned. "They just said they wanted to go in a different direction,''said Wolff, whose tenure included two NCAA appearances and three NIT appearances, the last which occurred in 2005, which may have been the decision for a change in leadership in this what-have-you done for me lately mind set of college athletics.
Wolff conceded if the decision had been made last season after a third consecutive losing season,he would have been less surprised. But the Terriers seemed to have turned a corner in direction midway through the season when they overcame a rocky start and put together an eight game winning streak which put them in the middle of the America East race despite a series of injuries which forced Wolff to scramble his line up and other personnel issues which forced Wolff to scramble his line up each day,
Still, the America East seemed to have no clear cut favorites as the tournament began last week in Albany, New York, but a first round upset loss to the University of Maryland-Baltimore County apparently sealed the deal as far as Lynch was concerned.
"The decision was not made quickly or easily,'' said Lynch "However, after a thorough analysis, I believe that a change of leadership is in the best interest of our men's basketball program.
Wolff ,who has four years remaining on his contract, leaves as the All time winingest coach in BU history with an overall record of 247-197, including a third place finish and a 17-13 overall record this season.
Wolff's stint at BU included NCAA tournament appearances in 199 and 2002), which were followed by three NIT appearances in 2003, 2004 and 2005. During that time the Terriers won two America East championships in 1997 and , 2002 and captured the conferenceís regular-season crown five times in 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004). He coached more seasons and won more games than anyone in the programís 100-season history.
Wolff says that he first heard rumblings of dissatisfaction a few weeks from Lynch a few weeks ago, but they abated as the Terriers prepared for the America East tournament.When the Terriers were upset in the first round by UMBC, Lynch decided that it was time to change the direction of the program.
Lynch says that he will begin a nation wide search for a new coach immediately.
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