Reynolds not renewed after leading team to tourney

Long Beach State coach Larry Reynolds will not have his contract renewed, the school revealed on Tuesday, just a week after the 49ers went to the NCAA Tournament.

The 49ers won the Big West regular-season and conference tournament titles before losing to Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last week in Columbus, Ohio.

"We appreciate the hard work and leadership that Larry provided," director of athletics Vic Cegles said in a statement. "However, I believe it is in the best interest of the university and the men's basketball program to make a change. We had a banner season, but upon an extensive review I came to the conclusion that a foundation had not been built to ensure long-term success."

Reynolds' original five-year contract was set to expire on April 22. He had asked for an extension but was denied.

"I would like to thank Long Beach State for giving me the opportunity and for the support of the campus, students and community," Reynolds said. "I wish the program well."

The 49ers made their first tournament appearance since 1995. Reynolds entered 2006-07 with a 39-75 record, but went 24-8 this season (12-2 in the Big West).

Assistant coach Reggie Howard did not accompany the team to Columbus and was put on indefinite leave as the NCAA investigates recruiting violations at the school. The team's recruiting coordinator, Howard was credited with assembling much of the squad.

At the beginning of March, the 49ers were in first place in the Big West and Reynolds felt like he deserved an extension.

"If you win the [Big West tournament] and go to the NCAA Tournament, some people will say great he has done what he was supposed to do," Reynolds told the school newspaper's Web site then. "Other people will say he has to win one or two more in the [NCAA] Tournament if he wants a contract extension.

"The only people that really know what is happening is the administration, and everything else is speculation, and if you start doing that you can drive yourself nuts."

During Reynolds' tenure the school hired a new president and Cegles, leaving the coach's future uncertain for some time.