UConn parts ways with Kevin Ollie citing just cause
UConn has parted ways with Kevin Ollie, as the school announced it has "initiated disciplinary procedures" to fire the head coach.
Two days after the Huskies' season ended with an opening-round loss to SMU in the American tournament, the school announced Ollie's contract was being terminated "for just cause."
"It is unfortunate that this decision became necessary," athletic director David Benedict said in a statement. "As with all of our programs, we hold men's basketball to the highest standards. We will begin a national search immediately to identify our next head coach."
The school announced in January that it was the subject of an NCAA investigation but did not provide specific details. Hearst Connecticut Media cited unidentified sources saying the inquiry was related to recruiting.
"The men's basketball program has a proud history and a tradition of excellence," university president Susan Herbst said. "Our goal, above all, is to ensure we have a program that UConn Nation can be proud of, including our students, alumni, fans and all our committed supporters."
Ollie helped lead the program to a national title in his second season at the helm in 2014, but the Huskies have gone to the NCAA tournament once in the past four years.
The 45-year-old played for Jim Calhoun in the early 1990s and spent more than a decade as a journeyman in the NBA. After retiring in 2010, he joined Calhoun's staff as an assistant and became the interim head coach two years later after Calhoun retired, largely due to health issues.
Ollie finished 20-10 in his first season, a year in which the Huskies were ineligible for the NCAA tournament due to poor academics. UConn won the national title in 2014 behind Shabazz Napier, but the Huskies have been nationally irrelevant since -- going to the NIT in 2015, barely making the NCAA tournament in 2016 and not making the postseason in 2017.
UConn finished 14-18 this season.