The Washington Wizards have fired head coach Randy Wittman, the team announced on Thursday.
“There were high internal and external expectations for this team coming into this season based on the momentum we had generated over the previous two years,” Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the inconsistency of the team’s performance and effort, particularly on our home court, did not allow us to meet those expectations and we decided a coaching change was needed.”
Players had anticipated the move, according to an earlier report by CSN Mid-Atlantic’s J. Michael.
“I don’t see how they could bring him back,” one player said to Michael, who was reportedly told similar things by other players.
Despite high expectations entering the season, Wittman and the Wizards had a disappointing campaign this year, finishing the season in 10th place in the Eastern Conference at 41–41. They will not make the playoffs.
Wittman completed his fourth full season at Washington’s helm on Wednesday night with a 109–98 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. He took over for the late Flip Saunders in January 2012 and has posted a 178–199 regular-season record, which includes two postseason appearances.
The 2016–17 season was the final year of Wittman’s three-year deal, which is worth more than $3 million per season.