One day after parting ways with Alan Major, Charlotte 49ers athletics director Judy Rose says she is in the market for a coach who will inject a winning outlook into the 49ers basketball program.
“Our goal is to have someone with the ability to take the talent we already have on this team, and to bring a winning mentality and a winning attitude, so that we can meet our goals of vying for a conference championship and NCAA tournament play,” Rose said Monday.
Rose said there is no timetable for finding a replacement for Major, although she would like to get it done quickly.
“We will take as long as it takes,” said Rose. “I’d like to have it happen quickly, but I’m not of a mindset to rush into it.”
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It’s been 10 seasons since the 49ers last played in the NCAA tournament, which begins without them again this week. The 49ers never came close to reaching that goal in any of Major’s five seasons. The 49ers were 14-18 this season and played the final 18 games without Major, who was taking his second medical leave of absence within the past year. Major had operations on both his eyes and his heart last summer. He leaves the program with a 75-81 record, including 67-70 in games he coached.
Rose wouldn’t say how much of a factor Major’s health was in the decision. Attempts to reach Major have been unsuccessful.
“This is a results-oriented business and we didn’t have the number of wins and positive outcomes that we needed,” said Rose. “This was truly a mutual agreement and in the best interests of Alan and his health.”
Rose said Major’s settlement with the 49ers includes two years’ worth of his base salary ($225,000 per year) from the three years he had remaining on his contract, plus any incentives he meets. Major’s contract was extended through 2018 two years ago.
Major, 46, had no head-coaching experience when he took the Charlotte job. Rose said that isn’t necessarily part of the criteria for whomever 49ers’ new coach will be.
“We’re just going to go after the best person,” said Rose. “If that person has been a head coach, fine, but we’re going to look at everything.”
Rose said the new coach will need to also need to sell the program to the community and students. Average attendance at Halton Arena this season was at an all-time low.
“We have a marketing staff for that, too,” said Rose. “But the coach will need to be involved with the students and get out there, on and off campus. Speak to the Rotary Club. But the most important task will be to get the basketball program winning again.”
Rose also has begun meeting with players.
“We’re talking with all them to keep them on track academically and with their offseason workouts until a new coach gets here,” said Rose.
Rose said she quickly began receiving calls from prospective candidates. She said she has not hired a search firm to help her and Chancellor Phil Dubois find a new coach.
“This is a respected program, although maybe the results haven’t shown that recently,” said Rose. “Our program is not broken.”
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