Tom Crean built Indiana Hoosiers men’s basketball team from the ground, and here he is parting ways with the team after nine seasons. In gist, Indiana has fired their coach Tom Crean!
BREAKING: Indiana has fired head basketball coach Tom Crean after nine seasons. pic.twitter.com/AB9ckcLHtd— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 16, 2017
Nine years after taking over a team which was mixed in turmoil following a NCAA scandal, Tom Crean was fired Thursday, and the reason was missing the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in his nine-year tenure.
Caption: Indiana athletic director Fred Glass in his statement on firing Tom Crean announcing on Thursday.
Although, the 50-year-old coach Crean had three years remaining on his contract, and the move of firing comes a little more than three months before his buyout clause that would have dropped directly from $4 million to $1 million. Tom Crean was paid the salary of $3,046,250 which is ninth-highest in the country.
But there was angst among fans and athletic director Fred Glass said:
"Tom Crean brought us through one of the most challenging periods in IU basketball history, led his players to many successes in the classroom and on the court and represented our university with class and integrity. While winning two outright Big Ten titles in five years and being named Big Ten coach of the year, Tom worked tirelessly to develop great young men and successful teams. However, ultimately, we seek more consistent, high levels of success, and we will not shy away from our expectations."
Tom Crean and Tom Izzo worked together back at Michigan State in 1989-90 when Tom Izzo was an assistant for Jud Heathcote, and Tom Crean worked as a graduate assistant.
Tom Izzo brought Crean back to Michigan State again in 1995 to be a part of his first coaching staff along with the Spartans and, together, the duo partnered to build which would eventually become MSU's 2000 national title team.
So Tom Izzo's reaction to the news that Crean was fired after nine seasons as the head coach at Indiana on Thursday was understandable and predictable. Izzo said on Crean’s day of firing before his team's open NCAA Tournament practice at the Tulsa, Oklahoma:
"I feel awful about it. But that (discussion) will be for another time."
Two potential candidates to replace Tom Crean are Wichita State's Gregg Marshall and Dayton's Archie Mille. Both of them indicated they hadn't been contacted by Indiana yet.#Basketball Coach