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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dereck Whittenburg Fired From Fordham

Sad, but not surprising, news in the Wolfpack coaching tree:
Dereck Whittenburg has been fired in his seventh season as the basketball coach at Fordham after the Rams' 1-4 start.

Athletic director Frank McLaughlin announced the move Thursday and said assistant coach Jared Grasso will take over on an interim basis.

Whittenburg, the player who took the long shot that led to the winning basket for North Carolina State and Jim Valvano in the 1983 championship game, was 69-112 at Fordham.

His only season with an over-.500 record was 2006-07, when the Rams went 18-12. Fordham was 3-25 last season, including 1-15 in the Atlantic 10.

Whittenburg was head coach at Wagner for four seasons before going to Fordham. He led the Seahawks to the NCAA tournament in 2003.
The timing is a little interesting. Five games in? Really? Did you find out something in the fifth game you didn't know before the season started?

My guess is that, in an ever-competitive coaching job market, the folks at Fordham wanted to give Whitt time to get off to a blazing start but short of that they were probably going to ahead and get out in front of the job search process. You never want to be the last program looking to fill a vacancy, so in some senses, firing a guy-mid-season gives a program that headstart on other programs that may make a move after the year ends. It's sad, but it's business, too.

If he's planning to stay in coaching, here's hoping Whitt can land somewhere as an assistant with a top-level program and start working back up that ladder.


  1. Coach Lowe needs to snap him up. We need another PG on staff.

    did Whittenburg talk about being snubbed for not getting an interview 4 years ago? Guess Fowler got one thing right in that search.

  2. If I remember correctly, he never got his degree so he didn't qualify

  3. He has a degree, and he wasn't a PG.

  4. i do not want Whittenburg, as much as i loved him as a player for NC State, to become an assistant for Lowe. Like Towe, he hasn't been very successful as a head coach. for that reason my preference is that he not be hired by Lowe.
    i would like to take this opportunity to make a few comments about the women's basketball team. I watched them play Wisconsin last night via Pack Pass. Coach Harper has a long building process ahead of her, which surprises me. with the returning players i thought she would have a good first year. she might still, but i doubt it. the team really plays like they expect to lose. i was surprised at their lack of effort or passion in the first half. it is written that Wisconsin out muscled them. but if team players just stand there and watch their opponent get the rebound, a team is not being outmuscled. add the wild and poor shots in the second half including wide open under the basket misses by Tia Bell, one can see why they can't win. sbas2

  5. i was kidding about Lowe hiring him ... but yes, i did forget for a moment he was a 2 guard

  6. First of all James thanks for reading.And your dead on with your assessment of the program.Honestly I would love to see Lowe excel down in Raleigh.I personally can't stand the "old guard of Duke and Carolina.I hope he can get the job done down there.

  7. Dereck Whittenburg Received his degree in 1984! Please get your facts straight before you go trying to comment on someone you don't even know!