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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Felton Out, Herrmann In

UPDATES: Couple quick things courtesy of the folks who are actually in Athens right now...

-- Doug Stutsman's story on Felton's dismissal is now posted at Macon.com. You can read it HERE.

-- Trey Thompkins was conspicuously withheld from interviews today.

-- At the UGA-Florida game last night, there were exactly two Georgia reporters at the game -- myself and a reporter from the Red & Black. At basketball practice today, there were 19. I think that says all you need to know about the state of the program.

THE LATEST: It's official. Georgia has fired head coach Dennis Felton, naming assistant Pete Herrmann as the interim coach effective immediately.

"I'm disappointed that things have not worked out better," athletics director Damon Evans said. "I do think it is in the best interest of our program to move in a new direction.

"We have goals and expectations at Georgia for every sport, and that includes competing for a championship on a regular basis both on the conference and national levels. My No. 1 priority is to do what is best for the basketball program."

Georgia fell to 0-5 in SEC play with an 83-57 loss to Florida Wednesday night in Gainesville, Fla., and is now just 9-11 overall – the worst mark in the SEC. The Bulldogs have lost seven straight games.

"I accepted athletics director Evans’ recommendation with regret, but I believe this decision to be in the best, long-term interest of the men's basketball team," university president Michael F. Adams said. "I also regret the impact this decision has on Coach Felton and his family. Dennis is a good man, and I wish him well in all future endeavors."

Felton was in his sixth season with the program after replacing Jim Harrick. He was 84-91 since taking over as head coach.

It was widely rumored that Felton’s job was in jeopardy at the end of the 2007-08 season, but the Bulldogs’ miracle run to win the SEC tournament championship bought him another season. Felton was plagued by questions about his job prior to the tournament and vowed this year would be different.

“I’m just not going to have that discussion any more,” Felton said before the team opened preseason practice this year. “My mind-set is precisely the same. I’m excited about the future, and I’m focused entirely on building a great basketball program at Georgia.”

Herrmann served as head basketball coach at the U.S. Naval Academy from 1986-92 after six years as chief assistant at Navy. He has also held assistant coaching positions at Western Kentucky, Virginia, and Kansas State.(11:12 a.m.)

** NOTE: As I am on my way back from Gainesville (I swear, Georgia purposely waits until I'm out of town to do these things!), Doug Stutsman will have continuing coverage at www.macon.com this afternoon.

SOURCES: UGA has called a news conference to "discuss the men's basketball program" set for 11 a.m. No details yet beyond that. I'll keep you posted. (9:18 a.m.)

UPDATE: A couple sources reporting that this will indeed be to announce the termination of Dennis Felton. (9:35 a.m.)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Big name hire and/or Brad Stevens. Those are the only names I want to hear connected with UGA's opening.

Jeffrey said...

David,

Your opinion on the shortlist. I've heard Mitchell, Kruger, and Anthony Grant. Additions/comments?

Anonymous said...

Mitchell isn't on anyone's short list except Mrs. Mitchell's.

If there is a list it has Jeff Capel on it to start and aspirational names like Tubby, Dixon, and Sean Miller.

Anonymous said...

David,

Sawyer dies in Lost.

David Hale said...

Hate to speculate on names just yet, but I think Grant is certainly one that is intriguing.

Mitchell is definitely interested in the job, but how interested are the Dogs?

And don't hold your breath on Tubby. I'd be shocked -- SHOCKED -- if he came back.

And don't tease me about Sawyer!