Jordan fired as Rutgers basketball coach

Mar 11, 2016 - 1:23 AM PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Eddie Jordan has been dismissed as Rutgers basketball coach, Rutgers athletic director Patrick Hobbs said.

The firing comes less than 24 hours after Nebraska defeated the Scarlet Knights in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament.

The loss ended an injury-plagued season in which Rutgers (7-25) won just one conference game. The win came against an under-manned Minnesota on the final day of the regular season.

The win ended a 32-game losing streak in the conference and a 17-game overall skid. The 17-game streak was the longest losing streak in program history, dating back to 1906.

''I have decided that we need new leadership for our men's basketball program,'' Hobbs said in a statement released by the school. ''Rutgers University is deeply appreciative of Coach Jordan's efforts these past three years. He is and will always remain a valued member of the Rutgers community.''

The 61-year-old Jordan, who was hired in the wake of the scandal that led to the firing of coach Mike Rice and athletic director Tim Pernetti, posted a 29-68 record in three seasons, including a 3-35 conference mark during two years in the Big Ten.

Rutgers finished this season 0-14 away from home.

Jordan did not immediately return a telephone call from The Associated Press.

Jordan had never been college head coach, but was an NBA head coach for the Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers. He compiled a 257-343 (.428) in the NBA.

This will be his second major search for coach for Hobbs, who replaced Julie Hermann as Rutgers' athletic director in late November. He hired Chris Ash to replace Kyle Flood as the university's football coach less than two weeks after taking the job.

As the interim athletic director at Seton Hall from 2009-11, Hobbs hired Kevin Willard as the Pirates basketball coach. Hobbs was tasked with finding someone to clean up the basketball program as Willard inherited a program with off the court issues under Bobby Gonzalez. Currently in his sixth-year as Seton Hall's coach, Willard is leading the Pirates back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006.

Jordan, who led the Scarlet Knights to the Final Four in 1976, vowed to restore the dignity, pride and integrity to a program embarrassed when videotapes of Rice hurling basketballs and gay slurs at his players were released.

Jordan accomplished that. He just couldn't win on the court.

He didn't get any time to recruit his first season, and then saw all his big men spend most of the past season out injured.

There was a bright spot in freshman guard Corey Sanders, who appears poised for stardom. However, Jordan did suspend Sanders for four games late in the season for a violation of team rules.

Jordan's biggest win was victory over No. 4 Wisconsin in January 2015, but the Badgers played without injured big man Frank Kaminsky.

Jordan had two years left on his original five-year, $6.25 million contract.

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