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UGA Fires Tim Crean; Who Could Be the Next Basketball Coach of the Georgia Bulldogs?

March 9, 2022

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ATHENS - The Georgia Bulldogs have terminated their relationship with Tom Crean. 

The Bulldogs’ basketball operation will take different direction moving forward after a dismal 6-26 record this winter. He ends his tenure at Georgia with a 47-75 record that is one of the worst in modern UGA history. Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald cited a source that confirmed that Crean had been let go - a move that has been expected for some time. 

“I would like to sincerely thank Coach Crean and his family for their commitment to Georgia Basketball,” said UGA AD Josh Brooks in a statment. “Tom Crean demonstrated unquestionable effort and enthusiasm in what he has attempted to accomplish at Georgia.  That said, our expectation is to compete for post-season success in all 21 sports. We believe a leadership change in men’s basketball is needed to achieve our goals.”


Now the Bulldogs will have to decide what’s next for the program. It will be the first major hire for new athletics director Josh Brooks. It will likely also serve as the last major athletics hire UGA president Jere Morehead, who turns 66 this fall. 

Several names have been linked with the job - most notably former Georgia player and assistant Jonas Hayes, who is an assistant coach at Xavier. Hayes is well known for his recruiting prowess in the Atlanta area. He’s made no secret behind the scenes that he covets the Georgia job. 

But Hayes has never been a head coach before, and the Bulldogs could also have more high-profile coaches or current head coaches as possible suiters for the job. Matt McMahon has No. 19 Murray State ranked and has raised eyebrows this winter with the Racers’ play. Cleveland State’s Dennis Gates is also someone to watch. He got the Vikings to the NCAAs a season ago after the program went 11-21 in 2019-20. Cleveland State won the Horizon League regular season championship this season. Gates served as an assistant under Leonard Hamilton at Florida State from 2011-2019. 

The decision could come down to if Georgia wants to go with Hayes’ ties to Atlanta, or Gates’ and McMahon’s success on the floor. Of course, a number of other coaches might be interested in the job due to the amount Georgia has the ability to pay its basketball head coach.

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Tags: Tom Crean
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