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Report: Tom Crean Fired as Georgia Men's Basketball Coach After 4 Seasons

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMarch 11, 2022

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Tom Crean's time as the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs men's basketball team is reportedly coming to an end following a disappointing 2021-22 campaign.

On Thursday, ESPN's Pete Thamel reported the SEC school "initiated the process to part ways with" him by providing the coach who is owed $3.2 million "the contractually required notice in order to terminate his employment."

Georgia went 6-26 overall and 1-17 in league play this season.

This was not unexpected.

Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Tuesday that "all indications" were the Bulldogs and Crean were headed toward a split after the season, which ended with Wednesday's blowout loss to Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament.

Towers suggested Georgia's refusal to give Crean a contract extension following last season was "a death knell for a coach trying to recruit the summer amateur circuit and transfer portal."

He listed Xavier associate head coach Jonas Hayes, Cleveland State head coach Dennis Gates, Wake Forest head coach Steve Forbes and USC head coach Andy Enfield as potential candidates to take over for Crean. 

ESPN's Jeff Borzello and Jeff Goodman of Stadium pointed to Hayes and Gates as "two Georgia candidates that have been buzzing for weeks."

As for Crean, he finished his four seasons with Georgia with an ugly 47-75 record. He never made the NCAA tournament, and the 2020-21 season was his only one with a winning record at 14-12.

It seemed as if he was turning things around for the Bulldogs with the No. 11 recruiting class in 2019, per 247Sports' composite, that featured Anthony Edwards, but fellow signees Christian Brown, Sahvir Wheeler and Toumani Camara all eventually transferred.

Crean's time with Georgia was a far cry from his previous stops with Marquette and Indiana.

He went to five NCAA tournaments in nine seasons with the Golden Eagles and reached one Final Four with Dwyane Wade leading the way. He went to the Big Dance four times in nine seasons with the Hoosiers and won the Big Ten regular-season title twice.                  

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