Tony Barbee was fired as coach at Auburn after four straight losing seasons at the school. (AP Photo/Jay Sailors)
Auburn fired men's basketball coach Tony Barbee hours after the team was ousted in the first round of the SEC tournament, the school announced Wednesday.
Barbee was fired at the team hotel, according to the school.
Barbee was 49-74, including an 18-50 mark in league play, in his four seasons with the Tigers. Auburn finished with a 14-16 record this season after the team lost to South Carolina 74-56 on Wednesday.
Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said the search for a new coach would begin immediately. The school still owes Barbee a $2.4 million buyout for the rest of his contract that was set to expire in 2017.
"After careful evaluation of the last four years, I feel this is best for the program," Jacobs said.
"I believe we should compete for championships in men's basketball. It's time for somebody else to have a turn. We need to find somebody to come in here and take what we have here now and put some more in and compete for SEC titles."
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The team went 6-12 in the conference this season and did not have a winning record in any of the four seasons Barbee was in charge.