The A.D. speaks

Following a 69-53 loss last night in the 1st round of the Conference USA tournament, Matt Doherty's career record fell to 48-75 in four years at the Hilltop. On Thursday, Steve Orsini commented on the future of SMU basketball. Come inside for this exclusive. has learned that Matt Doherty will return for a 5th season at SMU.

Following a 69-53 loss last night in the 1st round of the Conference USA tournament, Doherty's career record fell to 48-75 in four years at the Hilltop.

In a statement to from SMU athletic director Steve Orsini, Doherty will have a sit down with the A.D. in the coming weeks, to discuss their goals for next season.

"Coach Doherty and I sat down at the end of last season and established our annual goals for the program. First on that list was that we would continue to show progress. While we did not succeed to the levels we had hoped, I believe we did show progress during the regular season," said Orsini. "Just as I do with all my coaches, Matt and I will sit down in the coming weeks and evaluate the season and the program."

The Mustangs finished the regular season 14-17 overall, tying Doherty's best record at SMU. The Mustangs finished 8th in the C-USA standings. His 14 wins were five more than last season.

"My charge to him for next season will be to continue to show improvement, and, as a former National Coach of the Year, I believe he will accomplish that goal," said Orsini. "My vision for the men's basketball program at SMU remains unchanged. We will compete for conference championships and return the Mustang basketball program to national prominence."

Doherty came to the Hilltop after spending the 2005-06 campaign as the head coach at Florida Atlantic, where he led the Owls to a 15-13 season that included a 14-6 record in Atlantic Sun play, the best in school history. The 15 wins were also five more than FAU had managed in the year prior to his arrival.

Before his stop in Florida, Doherty was the head coach at North Carolina, his alma mater. In his first season at UNC, Doherty led the Tar Heels to a 26-7 record and was named Associated Press National Coach of the Year. The team won the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season co-championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. UNC earned a No. 1 ranking during the season and two Tar Heels, Brendan Haywood and Joe Forte, were tabbed All-Americans and became first-round NBA draft choices. Doherty capped off his first year by putting together one of the top-five recruiting classes in the nation.

Doherty's reputation as one of the nation's top recruiters continued in his second season at North Carolina, when he signed Raymond Felton, Sean May and Rashad McCants, all of whom would play instrumental roles on North Carolina's 2005 National Championship team. In his final year at North Carolina, Doherty's team won the Preseason National Invitation Tournament and was ranked as high as No. 12 in the nation before advancing to the NIT following the season.

*** Parts of this report came from the SMU Media Relations Department

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