|Welsh fired as Providence coach after 10 years|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 15 March 2008 07:16|
He spent 10 years at the Big East school and had one year left on his contract.
``He represented the college with dignity and class,'' athletic director Bob Driscoll said. ``However, I felt that it was in the best interest of the program and Providence College to make a change in leadership.''
His team went 15-16 this season, with starting point guard Sharaud Curry limited to one game because of injury. The Friars lost to West Virginia 58-53 in the opening round of the Big East tournament.
Welsh led Providence to the NCAA tournament in 2001 and 2004, losing in the first round both times. He had a 160-143 record with the Friars.
The Friars lost to West Virginia 58-53 on Wednesday in the opening round of the Big East tournament, dropping their record under Welsh in that event to 1-9.
Welsh leaves Providence with the third-highest win total behind Joe Mullaney (319) and Dave Gavitt (209). Driscoll plans to begin a coaching search immediately.
``Providence College has a rich tradition in men's basketball,'' he said. ``I have very high standards for the program and I expect that we will find the best person to move the program forward.''
Among the possibilities are George Mason coach Jim Larranaga, a Providence graduate who led the Patriots to the Final Four in 2006, and Brown coach Craig Robinson, a former Princeton player who led the Bears to a 19-9 record this season and second place in the Ivy League.
The 47-year-old Welsh arrived at Providence in 1998 after three seasons as the coach at Iona, where he compiled a 70-22 record in three seasons with one NCAA and two NIT appearances.
His most successful season at Providence was 2003-04, when the Ryan Gomes-led Friars finished third in the Big East and were ranked as high as No. 12. That team finished 11-5 in the conference and 20-9 overall and entered the NCAA tournament as a No. 5 seed.