CORVALLIS -- Oregon State University basketball coach Craig Robinson has been fired.
Sports Illustrated first reported the parting, which was confirmed by the school late Monday morning.
“I want to thank Coach Robinson and his family for their contributions to Oregon State University,” said athletic director Bob DeCarolis. “This was a difficult decision, but after further evaluation, I believe it is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our basketball program and our University.”
"During a phone call with him on Thursday, I acknowledged to him that I had changed my mind," De Carolis said. "Despite my sincere want for Craig to be successful at Oregon State, as the days moved on since March, it became clear to me that wanting it to work with Craig as our coach was not good enough. Oregon State University, our student-athletes and our loyal supporters deserve more than a simple desire. They deserve success."
"When Craig got here, it was not every good," De Carolis said. "Yes, he got us to a different spot, which was good, but we just feel that to get to the next spot, we need a fresh start."
De Carolis said he hopes to move quickly in finding a replacement since Robinson's firing came well after the season ended.
"We want to move quickly, but we want to make the right choice," he said. "So fast but deliberate."
Robinson had three years left on his contract and SI reports that Oregon State will have to pay him $4 million for the departure. He was 93-104 at OSU, 39-69 in the Pac-12. The team never made the NCAA tournament in his six seasons.
Just last month, DeCarolis gave Robinson a vote of approval, issuing the following statement.
“Coach Robinson and I have met multiple times in the past two weeks, and he has presented me with a plan that will move the Oregon State men’s basketball program forward to achieve the goals that this university supports.
Our goals in every sport are to win a conference title; to play in NCAA postseason events; to compete with character and integrity; and to help guide our student-athletes to graduate and succeed in life.
I’m looking forward to watching Coach Robinson continue to build our program. He is a man of great character and someone who represents Oregon State University with integrity. I ask for your continued support of Beaver basketball.”
Robinson is the brother of First Lady Michelle Obama and his teams made regular trips to Washington D.C. both for basketball games and to spend time with her and President Barack Obama.