Monmouth coach Dave Calloway resigns

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Dave Calloway has resigned under pressure as Monmouth University's basketball coach after 14 seasons.

Athletic Director Marilyn McNeil informed Calloway on Sunday that the university planned to hire a new coach after the Hawks suffered their fifth straight losing season and missed the Northeast Conference tournament.

Monmouth has posted a 48-105 record over the past five seasons, including 30-60 in the conference.

"It wasn't my choice," Calloway said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Sunday afternoon.

Calloway, who led Monmouth to the NCAA tournament in 2001, '04 and '06, knew his job at the West Long Branch school was in jeopardy after the Hawks finished a 9-21 season with a loss to Sacred Heart on Saturday.

"Everything has been great," Calloway said. "I feel very, very fortunate. I am in a good place. I enjoyed my experience there. I think I got more out of it than they got out of me. They paid for my education. I got my Masters there. They paid for that. They paid me to do this and I loved doing it.

"Coaching at Monmouth has been terrific," Calloway added. "You always like to win more. I have nothing but good things to say about the university and everybody involved. This is just how the business works. They made a decision. I was never going to be the coach at Monmouth forever."

Calloway always had a sense of humor. When he first took the Hawks to the NCAA tournament in 2001, Monmouth was seeded No. 16 and drew No. 1 seed Duke for its first game.

Calloway predicted that the winner of the game would win the NCAA title. He was right: Duke won.

"Dave has the utmost integrity and has represented the University well in every kind of forum," McNeil said in a statement. "His time here at Monmouth made all of us better and it is bittersweet to see the Calloway era end."

President Paul Gaffney said the university will conduct a national search for Calloway's replacement, adding that he's been offered a post with the school's administration.

Calloway said he still wants to coach.

"I have enjoyed coaching and would love to be able to help somebody else out," Calloway said. "Whether there will be another opportunity this year or in the future of running another program again. I would like that. I learned a lot in life and in this business, that's for sure."

Calloway played for the Hawks before starting his coaching career there as a graduate assistant in 1991. He became a full-time assistant a few months later and assumed the top spot in January 1998 following Wayne Szoke's resignation.