PC Opts To Let Welsh Go

Providence College released a press release at about 12:45 on Saturday, announcing that Tim Welsh would not be retained as Friar coach.

The press release read as follows:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Providence College Athletic Director Bob Driscoll announced today (March 15) that men's basketball Head Coach Tim Welsh will not return to coach the Friars in 2008-09. Driscoll met with Welsh today to discuss the situation.

"I appreciate all the hard work and dedication that Tim has put into this program over the last 10 years," Driscoll said. "He represented the College with dignity and class. However, I felt that it was in the best interest of the program and Providence College to make a change in leadership."

His 2007-08 Friar squad registered a 15-16 record and a 6-12 mark in the BIG EAST. The Friars finished 12th of 16 teams in the BIG EAST this season. The Friars' season ended on Wednesday when they were defeated by West Virginia, 58-53, in the First Round of the BIG EAST Tournament.

Welsh was named the 13th head coach of Friar men's basketball team on April 2, 1998. In his 10 seasons as a head coach at Providence, he led the team to a 160-143 mark (.528) and a 72-92 record (.439) in BIG EAST regular-season play. In five of his 10 seasons the Friars qualified for post-season action. Providence was selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament in 2001 and 2004. The team also played in the NIT in 1999, 2003 and 2007.

Driscoll plans to begin a search immediately for a new head coach.

"This is a very important decision and I will work diligently to find someone who will lead our men's basketball program and guide our student-athletes," Driscoll said. "Providence College has a rich tradition in men's basketball. I have very high standards for the program and I expect that we will find the best person to move the program forward."

END

PC's release of Welsh followed weeks of speculation as to whether the coach, who had one year remaining on his contract, would be retained and extended or released. Another first round loss in the Big East Tournament, which sealed a fifth losing season in ten years, seemed to seal his fate.

PC will now look to fill the position as quickly as possible, both for the sake of retaining players and for a critical juncture in recruiting. However, several potential candidates have teams that may be involved in either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT, so the search may only be able to proceed so far.

Look for articles in the coming days outlining both what current players might opt to do as well as potential coaching candidates, here on Friar Insider.

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