After news first broke Saturday morning, the University of Georgia confirmed that Mark Fox no longer would be the basketball coach for the Bulldogs.
Fox had run the program for the last nine seasons, compiled a 163-133 record and had two NCAA Tournament appearances. Fox had been the school’s coach since 2009, making him the second-longest tenured coach in SEC, behind only Kentucky’s John Calipari.
Related: What went wrong for Mark Fox at Georgia?
Below you can read athletic director Greg McGarity’s full statement on the Fox news.
“Days like today are very difficult, especially when you are talking about someone like Mark Fox,” McGarity said. “We have worked alongside each other for eight seasons, and I have the utmost respect for Mark, his staff, our student-athletes and the support staff. They have always represented the University of Georgia in a professional manner. I know I speak for all Bulldogs to say ‘thank you’ to Mark and Cindy for the time and effort they have devoted to the University of Georgia.
“In the end, I felt like we have not reached our full potential as a basketball program. I really thought we were on the way to turning the corner this year. We just did not achieve the level of success as a program that I believe we should at the University of Georgia.
“We will move forward to search for a new head coach. It will be a national search in scope, and we will move as quickly as possible.”
“For the past nine years, we have had the good fortune to coach some terrific young men,” Fox said. “This chapter has closed, and I am grateful to the many who have helped us along the way but especially to the young men who wore the red and black. We’ve been able to reach a couple of NCAA Tournaments, a couple more NITs and graduate our players. Hopefully, our time here can be the groundwork for more success.”
The Bulldogs went 18-15 this past season, and that’s with having the SEC Player of the Year in Yante Maten. The Bulldogs have not made the NCAA Tournament since the 2014-15 season.
Related: Mark Fox and family contemplate what’s next as his UGA basketball tenure ends
Some of the names mentioned as a viable replacement for Fox include former Indiana coach Tom Crean and former Ohio State coach Thad Matta. The leading in-house candidate would be Jonas Hayes, who was Fox’s lead recruiter. Georgia’s season came to an end on Friday with a loss to Kentucky. The Bulldogs have been invited to participate in the NIT Tournament. The field for that event will be announced Sunday night.