Indiana Fires Head Coach Tom Crean After Nine Seasons
Indiana University announced Thursday that it has fired head basketball coach Tom Crean.
Crean spent nine seasons patrolling the sidelines for the Hoosiers. They made it to the Sweet 16 in three of his seasons at the helm, but have qualified for the NCAA Tournament just twice in the last four years.
Despite impressive early-season wins over powerhouses North Carolina and Kansas, Indiana finished the season just 18-16, good for 10th place in the Big Ten.
IU’s athletic director, Fred Glass, issued a statement on Crean’s dismissal (via ESPN):
“After deliberative thought and evaluation, including multiple meetings with Tom about the future, I have decided to make a change in the leadership of our men’s basketball program. Tom Crean brought us through one of the most challenging periods in IU basketball history, led his players to many successes in the classroom and on the court and represented our university with class and integrity.”
Glass also indicated that the school is looking for “more consistent, high levels of success.”
Crean took over in 2008 after former coach Kelvin Sampson was fired in the midst of an NCAA scandal. Indiana tabbed Crean after his successful nine-season stint at Marquette.
His finest season in charge at Indiana came in the 2011-12 season, when he led the team to a record of 27-9. With future NBA players Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller leading the charge, the Hoosiers earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Indiana would eventually fall to Kentucky in the Sweet 16.
In all, Crean went 166-135 during his nine season at Indiana, but struggled to a record of just 71-91 in the powerful Big Ten. Indiana did qualify for the NIT, but fell at the hands of Georgia Tech in the first round.
What’s Next for IU?
The Hoosiers lost at least 16 games for the fourth time under Crean. All other Indiana coaches have combined to lose 16 games in a season just twice ever, and zero times since the 1969-70 season.
Glass says that he will lead the search for a new coach in lieu of forming a search committee. He says he plans to consult basketball experts around the country, including ex-Hoosiers players.
Glass added, “The expectation for Indiana University basketball are to perennially contend for and win multiple Big Ten championships, regularly go deep in the NCAA Tournament, and win our next national championship – and more after that. We will identify and recruit a coach who will meet these expectations.”
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