(UPDATED at noon with Tech announcement.)
Paul Hewitt is out as Georgia Tech’s basketball coach.
Hewitt confirmed this morning that he has been fired, telling our Doug Roberson: “I’m no longer the coach at Georgia Tech. … I feel very fortunate to have 11 years at Georgia Tech. They’ve been more than fair to me and my family. I wish them all the best. I think Tech is in good hands.”
Hewitt met this morning with athletic director Dan Radakovich, who returned from the ACC tournament Friday night following conference meetings. Multiple reports leaked out this morning that Radakovich fired him at that time, but school officials would neither confirm nor deny the reports.
Tech has finally confirmed the announcement, posting a news release on its website. A press conference has been called for 2 p.m. An excerpt of the news release:
ATLANTA – Head men’s basketball coach Paul Hewitt has been relieved of his duties after 11 seasons at Georgia Tech.
The announcement came today from Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich, who said that a national search for Hewitt’s replacement would begin immediately.
Hewitt’s team concluded the 2010-11 season Thursday night with a 59-43 loss to Virginia Tech in the opening round of the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C. The Yellow Jackets finished 13-18 overall, 5-11 in the ACC.
“I am very appreciative of Paul Hewitt’s dedication to Georgia Tech for the last 11 years,” Radakovich said. “Paul is an outstanding person who has made a positive impact on so many of our student-athletes.”
Hewitt’s firing had been expected since the Tech lost its ACC tournament opener to Virginia Tech Thursday night and finished the season at 13-18. The Jackets have been expected to move quickly with the decision rather than let the announcement linger past the weekend.
Hewitt is due a $7.2 million balance on the five years remaining on his rollover contract, unless the two sides negotiate a lower buyout. Hewitt needed to be informed by next Wednesday that the rollover contract was being terminated, otherwise it would automatically renew and a sixth year would be added.
We’ll have more as this develops.
By Jeff Schultz