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Gillen Resigns at Virginia

March 15, 2005|From Associated Press

Pete Gillen stepped down Monday as men's coach at Virginia, ending a seven-season tenure marked by only one trip to the NCAA tournament.

"The team did not reach the goals we thought were achievable entering the 2004-05 season," Athletic Director Craig Littlepage said during brief remarks to the media. "There is, however, a solid foundation in place provided by Pete and his staff."

Littlepage, who did not take questions, said he and Gillen had a discussion recently where they decided the time was right for Gillen to leave.

The university said in a statement that, under the terms of Gillen's contract, he would receive a buyout of about $2 million. Gillen had six years remaining on a 10-year, $9-million contract he signed after the 2000-01 season.

"I have said many times the University of Virginia is a special place and I still feel that way," Gillen said in a statement distributed by the school. "I appreciate the opportunity given to me as the head coach and feel it is in the best interest of all that I step aside at this time."

Gillen, 57, did not attend the briefing or return a phone message left at his office. He told the Richmond Times-Dispatch he was not sure whether he would coach in 2005-06.

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His suspension over, John Chaney will coach Temple in the men's National Invitation Tournament. Whether he's back for good is still in question.

Chaney returns tonight to coach the Owls (16-13) in a first-round game at Virginia Tech (15-13) after a three-week suspension for sending in a player to commit hard fouls that left St. Joseph's senior John Bryant with a broken arm.

The 73-year-old Hall of Fame coach suspended himself for one game before the school extended the punishment to three games after the extent of Bryant's injury was discovered.

Chaney then banned himself from the sideline for the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.

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Buzz Peterson was fired as men's coach at Tennessee after the Volunteers failed to make the NCAA tournament during his four seasons at the school.

The Volunteers finished 14-17 overall, 6-10 in the Southeastern Conference this season.

It was Peterson's second losing season at Knoxville and gave him a 61-59 record with the Volunteers.

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San Jose State said it had hired California assistant George Nessman to be its men's coach and would make an announcement today. Nessman is replacing Phil Johnson, who resigned.... Michigan State assistant Doug Wojcik was hired as men's coach at Tulsa, which is trying to return to national prominence after consecutive 9-20 seasons. Wojcik replaces Alvin "Pooh" Williamson, who had been appointed interim coach after John Phillips resigned Dec. 25.... Steve Lappas was fired as men's coach at Massachusetts after four seasons in which the Minutemen had a 50-65 record.... Pete Strickland was fired after seven losing seasons as men's coach at Coastal Carolina. He had a 70-127 record at the school.... Judy Spoelstra was fired as Oregon State women's coach after the school's worst showing in 15 seasons. The Beavers lost 17 of 18 Pacific 10 Conference games and had an overall record of 6-23. She had a 133-158 record in 10 seasons.... Oklahoma State women's coach Julie Goodenough resigned after a third lackluster season for the team, which finished 7-20 this season. She had a 23-61 record.

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Connecticut suspended backup point guard Antonio Kellogg indefinitely for a "violation of team policy" and he will not be with the team during the NCAA men's tournament, the school said.... Tennessee women's sophomore forward Sidney Spencer had surgery for a torn knee ligament.

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Levi Rost scored 18 points to lead Western Michigan (20-12) over Marquette, 54-40, in a first-round NIT men's game at Milwaukee. Dameon Mason had 14 points for Marquette (19-12).

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