Drexel fires coach Bruiser Flint after 15 seasons
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Drexel has fired coach Bruiser Flint after a 15-year run without an NCAA Tournament appearance.
The longest-tenured active coach at one school without an NCAA berth, Flint went 245-217 with the Dragons and slumped to 6-25 this season. The Dragons went 3-15 in the Colonial Athletic Association.
''Loved being a Dragon.'' Flint tweeted Monday. ''Enjoyed the 15yrs. Love my guys and the ppl were great to me. Thanks Drexel.''
Flint coached the Dragons in five NITs, but only one since 2007. His best season came in 2011-12 when the Dragons went 29-7 and reached the NIT quarterfinal. Drexel won only 17 games the last two seasons.
''Our basketball program is well positioned for the future and he deserves credit for that,'' Drexel AD Eric Zillmer wrote in a letter to season ticket holders. ''I believe that we have the resources, commitment, and infrastructure in place to hire an exceptional and winning coach, and that our department and University is a very desirable place to work.''
Drexel retrained Atlanta-based Parker Executive Search to manage a national search for a new coach.
Flint, a former University of Massachusetts assistant coach under John Calipari, was a four-time winner of the CAA coach of the year award. Flint also coached UMass from 1996-2001 and made the NCAA Tournament in 1997 and 1998 and went 86-72 at the school.
The 50-year-old Flint led Drexel to several solid seasons, just not the NCAAs.
Yale's James Jones led the program to the NCAA Tournament this year for the first time in his 17 seasons, leaving Flint with the dubious distinction of longest time coaching one program without an NCAA berth.
Tony Shaver has coached William & Mary for 13 seasons and J.P. Piper has coached Nicholls State for 12 without an NCAA Tournament, leaving them next on the list, per STATS LLC.
There are six other active coaches at 11 seasons. One of them is New Hampshire's Bill Herrion, who has gone 11 seasons without a March Madness trip. Herrion coached Drexel for eight seasons and led the Dragons to their last NCAA Tournament appearances, in 1994, 1995 and 1996. The Dragons won their last tournament game in 1996.