January 29, 2009
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- University of Georgia men’s basketball coach Dennis Felton has been relieved of his duties by UGA Director of Athletics Damon Evans effective immediately.
Evans met with Felton Thursday morning. Associate Head Coach Pete Herrmann will serve as interim head coach the remainder of the season according to Evans.
“I’m disappointed that things have not worked out better,” said Evans. “I do think it is in the best interest of our men’s basketball program that we move in a new direction and while this may be unusual timing, I’m convinced it is the right time. I want to extend my best wishes to Dennis and his family and thank him for his service to the University over these five-plus years.
“We have goals and expectations at Georgia for every sport and that includes competing for championships on a regular basis both on the conference and national levels. We have significant resources, a brand new $30 million basketball practice and office facility that is without equal, there is outstanding high school talent in our state, and the high school and AAU coaches in Georgia are the best in the country.
“My number one priority is to do what is best for the University of Georgia and our basketball program and I’m committed to beginning the process that will identify the right person to lead our team,” said Evans. “I want our students and fans to know that in difficult times, their support is critical for the young men on our team and I hope they will rally around them during this period of transition.”
“I accepted Athletic Director Evans’ recommendation with regret, but I believe this decision to be in the best, long-term interest of the men’s basketball team,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “I also regret the impact this decision has on Coach Felton and his family. Dennis is a good man, and I wish him well in all future endeavors.”
Georgia is currently 9-11 overall this season and 0-5 in the Southeastern Conference. Felton’s overall record at UGA is 84-91 with an SEC record of 26-59 in regular season games. The Georgia team made an improbable run through the 2008 SEC tournament by winning four games in three days after finishing 13-16 overall during the regular season and a sixth place finish in the SEC East with a 4-12 record.
The last five Georgia teams have finished 16-14, 8-20, 15-15, 19-14, and 17-17. The 2004 and 2007 teams each earned a spot in the National Invitation Tournament while the 2008 team earned an NCAA bid by virtue of winning the SEC Tournament title.
Felton came to Georgia in the spring of 2003 following a successful five-year run at Western Kentucky that included an overall record of 56-20, three conference championships and three NCAA Tournament appearances. He served as an assistant coach at several schools including Clemson, Providence, St. Joseph’s, Tulane, and the University of Delaware.
Herrmann served as head basketball coach at the U.S. Naval Academy from 1986-92 after six years as chief assistant at Navy. He has also held assistant coaching positions at Western Kentucky, Virginia, and Kansas State.
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