LAKE CHARLES, La. -- McNeese State fired basketball coach John Aiken on Wednesday after the Cowboys went 22-45 the past two seasons.
"This is a really hard day for me personally," said athletic director Heath Schroyer, who hired Aiken. "John is a dear friend and a damn good basketball coach. I know John extremely well and I have no doubt he will bounce back, get another opportunity and be successful as a head coach in the future.
Schroyer, a former basketball coach, had Aiken on his staffs at UT Martin and at McNeese from 2018 to 2021.
When Schroyer left coaching to become McNeese's athletic director in 2021, he named Aiken as his replacement.
The Cowboys went 11-23 this season, recording the most losses in a season in program history. Aiken had one year left on his contract.
Now Schroyer, deputy athletic director Bridget Martin and senior associate athletic director for external affairs Todd Butler will form a search committee to find a new coach, the university announced.
"I was a Division I basketball coach for 24 years and I have a pretty good pulse on the market," Schroyer said. "Bridget, Todd and I will do our due diligence and get the right coach who embraces my expectations for this program."