Rice, Ben Braun part ways

Rice parted ways with coach Ben Braun on Thursday following the team's last-place finish in Conference USA.

The Owls were 7-23 overall and 2-14 in C-USA this season, and Braun was 63-128 in six seasons at the school. Rice lost in the opening round of the conference tournament Wednesday in overtime against North Texas.

"Ben and I met this morning to review the program and at that time he expressed to me his decision to resign as our head coach," athletic director Joe Karlgaard said in a statement. "I want to thank Ben for his hard work during his time at Rice.

Karlgaard said a search for a successor would begin immediately.

Braun, 60, appeared to be turning things around at Rice, but defections set the program back. Star Arsalan Kazemi left for Oregon, and several other players transferred as well.

In 12 seasons as the coach at California, Braun led the Bears to five NCAA tournament appearances. He also coached at Eastern Michigan and has an overall record of 608-494.