Sports

Men’s basketball coach gets

Leading candidates for position are Jarvis, Gonzalez, Cronin

A 65-54 record over four seasons at UM was not enough to save Head Men’s Basketball Coach Perry Clark’s job.

Clark was fired Friday by athletic director Paul Dee, leaving his job open for next season.

“Decisions like these are always difficult,” Dee said. “But after careful deliberation I have decided that it is in the best interest of the men’s basketball program to make a change.”

The men started out this season 13-5 before going on a long losing streak, dropping 11 of its last 12 games and missing the Big East Tournament. During the losing streak, they lost four games in overtime and in their last game they lost at home to West Virginia in a game where a win would have gotten them into the Big East Tournament.

Dee felt that it was a tough decision, since Clark did have some success at Miami. He won a school record 24 games in the 2001-02 season and took the team to the NCAA Tournament, where they lost in the first round as a five seed.

“This is very, very difficult because Perry Clark is a very good, honorable person. I’ve enjoyed working with him,” Dee said.

For Clark’s part, he will get 2.25 million dollars, which is the money that was guaranteed to him in his seven-year contract. This could put the school in a tough position when it comes time to look for a new coach.

“We have to see what obligations we have, and what we can afford,” Dee said. “There are some people today that we obviously could not afford.”

On Friday, CBS Sportsline reported that Mike Jarvis, the former coach at St. John’s, was going to be the next head coach at Miami, but Dee denied this report.

“We have not talked to Jarvis or his agent about the coaching job,” Dee said.

Clark came to the University of Miami in the 2000 after spending 11 seasons at Tulane, where he made three NCAA Tournament appearances. He compiled a 185-141 record at Tulane.

The team’s 14-16 record this season and its second straight losing season meant that it was time for a change at the University of Miami. Clark was 25-34 in his last two seasons.

Candidates to replace Clark are the aforementioned Jarvis, Manhattan’s Bobby Gonzalez, Murray State Head Coach Mick Cronin, and even Memphis Head Coach John Calipari. The school said it would conduct a wide-open search to find the next head coach.

Still, there is no animosity between the school and Clark.

“I would like to thank Perry for his hard work and dedication over the last four seasons, and wish him the best with his future endeavors,” Dee said.

The Hurricane will continue to follow this issue closely as the Hurricanes conduct their search for a new head coach.

Darren Grossman can be contacted at d.grossman@umiami.edu.

March 30, 2004

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.