UMaine Fires Basketball Coach Over Dismal SeasonBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
The University of Maine has fired the school's long-time men's basketball coach Ted Woodward following a miserable 6-23 season. Woodward served as Black Bears's coach for 10 seasons including as an assistant for eight years at the Division I school.
The university decided to buy out the remaining two years left on his contract. The ousted coach will, therefore, be receiving $113,800 over 13 months as per the conditions of the buyout.
In a statement, University President Paul Ferguson praised Woodward for his commitment both "athletically and academically."
"Ted's been here a long time and is a great guy and has served the university loyally," UMaine athletics director Karlton Creech said. "It was a very difficult decision, mainly because Ted's such a class act," Bangor Daily News reports.
At UMaine, Woodward overall posted a record of 117-178 (.397 winning percentage). During his tenure, Black Bears faced nine consecutive first-round or quarterfinal losses in the America East tournament; never won a conference championship or progressed to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship tournament.
Besides his poor coaching record, three prominent players - Dimitry Akanda-Coronel, Shaun Lawton and Xavier Pollard - requested for a transfer in the last three weeks.
"I do believe the guys, they each had their individual reasons for wanting to leave, and I doubt our decision today is going to change anything in their future," Creech said.
Woodward said that he was extremely proud of the Black Bear basketball program and it was an honor and a privilege to guide the team for the past 10 years.
"I am proud of the many things we accomplished both on and off the court, along with the many things that these men have become upon their graduation from the program," Woodward said. "Unfortunately, we didn't win enough to achieve some of our goals. There are certainly some significant challenges and adversity we face, yet an abundance of rewards."
Junior guard Zarko Valjarevic tweeted, "Thanks coach Woodward for everything that he did for this program. I wish him the best of luck in the future!"
Woodward began his stint at the University of Maine in 1996 as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator. He also coached the UMaine golf team from 1997 to 2001. He was also an assistant coach at Central Connecticut State University and Harvard.