Women's BBall coach Itoro Coleman was fired today by Dan Radakovich after a 9-21 season and first round bounce in the ACC Tournament. Coleman just completed her third season at the helm of the program, compiling a 25-63 record overall and a 10-38 mark in the ACC. The 5-13 ACC mark this year was the best since 2007-08.
"I want to thank Coach Coleman for her hard work and dedication as Clemson's Head Coach," said Radakovich. "She has represented Clemson University with dignity and class, dating to her days as a player.
"However, after an evaluation of the program, it is time to make a change. We will begin a national coaching search immediately."
Coleman starred as a player at Clemson from 1995-99, where she helped lead the program to four NCAA Tournament appearances and four berths in the ACC Championship game. She also served as an assistant at Clemson for five seasons from 2002-07. Prior to her appointment at Clemson, she spent three seasons as an Assistant Coach at Penn State.
We've only really heard good things about Coleman, and that she recruited extremely well, so we were pulling for her all the way. However most of that talent has left Clemson already. Three left this year and another quit for medical reasons. There were numerous questions about the changes in the program from outsiders and we've built up a somewhat negative perception to recruits, but from everything I'd heard, Coleman was just being tough on them and they mostly left for personal or disciplinary reasons. One was kicked off the team, and has been kicked off her new team. Two left for parental/personal reasons. Others previously left because Coleman basically didn't put up with any shit, but the perception is that no one wants to play for her.
We've also heard from a few folks about her battles with the Clemson athletic administration. Her budgets get cut back while she's trying to move forward with the program - sounds like Katie Hill has been involved to me - and that there were administrative battles waged that originated with Jim Davis (who should not have been fired either). My opinion is that there is more to this then than we will find out, rarely do coaches get axed after just 3 years. In such a poor sport for us, and since its non-revenue, I would've given more time.
Hopefully this is also about DRad sending a message: Win or go. It was one of our complaints that TDP was too uninvolved, and perhaps DRad is going to make sure he goes the other direction. However, TDP fired Jim Davis and should've never done so, and hired someone even worse the first time around before Coleman got the job.
No mention of current candidates at this time, but the Lander coach Kevin Pederson may be a good choice. I suppose we'll have another "national search"...hopefully more national than previous searches.