Monday, January 26, 2009

turn out the lights, the party's over ...

A self-fulfilling prophecy is officially coming true.

TUSCALOOSA | University of Alabama basketball coach Mark Gottfried will be relieved of his duties this week, ending a run of nearly 11 years as the Crimson Tide’s head basketball coach, sources have told The Tuscaloosa News.

Gottfried, 45, is not expected to coach the team in its remaining games. Although no announcement has been made concerning an interim coach, assistant coach Phillip Pearson is expected to take over the team until the end of the season.

Gottfried has two years remaining on a contract that is worth some $900,000 annually in terms of the University’s liability for buyout. In his 11 seasons, he is 210-131 overall and one game above the .500 mark, 83-82, in Southeastern Conference play. Including three years as the head coach at Murray State, Gottfried’s overall coaching record is 278-155.

He replaced David Hobbs as Alabama’s head coach in April of 1998. After a three-year rebuilding process, Gottfried took Alabama to the NCAA Tournament in 2002, beginning a streak of five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. The Crimson Tide’s best finish came in 2004 when UA advanced to the Elite Eight.
Even though this blog has campaigned tirelessly for Mark Gottfried's ouster (here, here, here and here) and will enjoy a celebratory beverage in the near future, I must admit a touch of sadness. It's never fun to watch someone lose his job, even if that guy's severance package is something I would gladly accept under any circumstances. I'll remember Mark Gottfried as the guy who took on an impossible situation and made it into something respectable, someone who was always classy under pressure and ultimately someone who had simply taken the program as far as he could take it.
And, of course, I'll remember this.

Roll Tide, Coach. All the best to you and yours.

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