(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
Arizona State men’s basketball coach Herb Sendek was fired after nine seasons at the helm following a meeting with ASU athletic director Ray Anderson.
Sendek amassed a record of 159-137 (.537) during his nine years in Tempe. ASU appeared in four NITs and two NCAA Tournaments, never advancing past the Round of 32.
In 2010, Sendek garnered Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors after leading his team to a 22-11 record and a second-place finish in the Pac-12. However, ASU only earned an NIT bid that ended in the first round of the tournament.
This season, ASU finished 18-16, 9-9 in Pac-12 play and a second round exit in the NIT. Despite finishing fifth in the Pac-12, four spots hire than predicted by the preseason media poll, ASU’s disappointing, one-game bid in the Pac-12 Tournament ended the season on a sour note.
The loss to USC was described as “painful for a lot of folks,” by Anderson.
During Sendek’s tenure, ASU missed the post-season three times.
“We have heard from a lot of folks who are very disgruntled with where the program is,” Anderson told Arizona Sports 98.7 on March 18. “So at the end of the day, you’ve got to evaluate the program and do what’s in the best interest of Sun Devil athletics.”
Doubts surrounding Sendek’s future began to strongly circulate following the USC loss, a game which ASU squandered a double-digit lead in the second half as the Trojans outscored the Sun Devils 21-4 to finish the game. Those rumors gained steam as it was reported that a player’s meeting was scheduled after Sendek’s morning meeting with Anderson.
Sendek arrived at ASU following five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 10 seasons while at North Carolina State. Following a second place finish in the ACC in the 2003-04 season, Sendek was named the ACC Coach of the Year. In his final five seasons in Raleigh, NC State tallied 46 conference wins, ranking only second behind Duke for the most in the span. When Sendek departed NC State for Tempe, it was deemed “confusing” but a “steal for ASU.”
Sendek also earned the 1995 MAC Coach of the Year while at Miami (Ohio), where he finished in the top-3 of the MAC and earned post-season bids in each of his three seasons there.
According to Scout.com’s Evan Daniels, ASU’s top target is former Oklahoma head coach and current Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel.
Anderson has made a handful of notable hires and moves since being named athletic director in January of 2014, including personally donating $500,000 to the renovation project for Sun Devil Stadium and hiring Tracy Smith as the head coach of the baseball team that is sitting comfortably in the top-25.
“We are committed to turning Sun Devil men’s basketball into an elite program and creating an unmatched atmosphere within Wells Fargo Arena,” Anderson said in a statement released on thesundevils.com.
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