College Basketball

Charlotte 49ers basketball coach Alan Major, school agree to part ways

The status of Charlotte coach Alan Major, who remains on indefinite medical leave of absence, is unclear after the 49ers ended their season with a 14-18 record.
The status of Charlotte coach Alan Major, who remains on indefinite medical leave of absence, is unclear after the 49ers ended their season with a 14-18 record. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

Alan Major’s five-year run as the Charlotte 49ers’ men’s basketball coach ended Sunday when he and the school agreed to mutually part ways.

The 49ers were 75-81 during the tenure of Major, who has taken two medical leaves of absence over the past year. His second leave began in January, with the 49ers finishing the season 14-18 under interim coach Ryan Odom.

Details of how Major’s departure came about are unclear. He had three years remaining on his contract, but a provision in the deal allowed the 49ers to terminate him if was unable to perform his job duties after a period of 90 days. He took his second leave Jan. 6.

“This was the best decision to make at this time for my health and for the program moving forward,” Major said in a statement. “I want to thank (athletics director) Judy Rose and Chancellor Phil Dubois for this opportunity the past five years.”

Major’s teams advanced to the postseason once, an appearance in the National Invitation Tournament in 2013.

“This is an extremely difficult situation,” said Rose in a statement. “In talking with Alan, we decided this was both in his best interest and the best interest of our program.”

Highlights for Major’s teams were championships in the Great Alaska Shootout in 2012 and the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in 2013. The 49ers also beat Tennessee at Time Warner Cable Arena during Major’s first season of 2010 and at Georgia Tech weeks later.

But the 49ers underperformed in conference play under Major, never finishing with a better than .500 record in either the Atlantic 10 or Conference USA.

Major also had several players transfer from the program, reportedly including center Mike Thorne after this season. Attendance at 49ers games has also declined to a record low of 4,376 this season at Halton Arena.

Rose said a search for Major’s replacement will begin immediately. Odom and assistants Desmond Oliver and Orlando Vandross – who have been with Major for all five seasons – are also no longer with the program.

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