Tom Crean Fired by Indiana After 9 Seasons with Hoosiers

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2017

BLOOMINGTON, IN - FEBRUARY 12: Head coach Tom Crean of the Indiana Hoosiers is seen during the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Assembly Hall on February 12, 2017 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Indiana University announced the firing of head basketball coach Tom Crean on Thursday.

Nicole Auerbach of USA Today passed along a statement confirming the school's decision:

On Tuesday, Indiana lost to Georgia Tech 75-63 in the first round of the NIT.

Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star noted Crean was asked following the loss to the Yellow Jackets whether he could get the storied program back on track.

"Done it before," Crean replied. "To me, no matter what's on a contract or anything, I'm gonna coach the same way, whether I've got one year or I've got 10 years."

He added: "The program's in great shape. The team's got to get better. The team, the players. The structure's great, with what we have. Facts are facts. Our team wasn't as good. We've got to improve that."

The 50-year-old Michigan native had three years left on his contract, which was scheduled to keep him on the Indiana sideline through the 2019-20 season.

Darren Rovell‏ of ESPN provided the buyout information:

All told, Crean compiled a 166-135 (.551) record across nine years with the Hoosiers. The 2016 Big Ten Coach of the Year went only 71-91 (.438) in conference play during his tenure, however, including five losing seasons.

Indiana did qualify for the NCAA tournament four times in the past six years. It reached the Sweet 16 in three of those instances but never advanced any further.

Jordan Littman of the Chicago Tribune commented on the Crean era:

Nancy Armour‏ of USA Today discussed the impact on college basketball's coaching carousel:

Crean was the head coach at Marquette before arriving in Indiana in 2008. He led the Golden Eagles to five NCAA tournament appearances in a stint that also lasted nine years, including a memorable run to the Final Four in 2003.

His career record stands at 356-231 (.606) across nearly two decades as a collegiate head coach. Only three times in 18 years has one of his teams finished with a losing record—his first three seasons at Indiana while he was rebuilding the program.

Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated shot down some early speculation about his potential replacement:

That said, making the move now gives Indiana a head start in the coaching search in case another high-profile program bows out of March Madness early and decides to start fresh too.

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