Washington Fires Head Basketball Coach Lorenzo Romar

    Lorenzo Romar has been dismissed from Washington. The longtime head coach ran the program in Seattle for 15 seasons.

    March 15, 2017

    Lorenzo Romar has been dismissed from Washington. The longtime head coach ran the program in Seattle for 15 seasons.


    It’s not often that we see head coaches get 10-plus years with one school. Guys like Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim are the exception.

    So was Lorenzo Romar, until he was dismissed from Washington on Wednesday after 15 seasons at the school. The Huskies failed to receive an NCAA Tournament bid for the sixth straight time following their 2016-17 campaign.

    U-Dub athletic director Jennifer Cohen made the decision after the team struggled despite boasting freshman star guard Markelle Fultz, who is a likely Top-5 NBA Draft pick.

    “After evaluating our men’s basketball program, I have determined that a change in leadership is necessary,” Cohen said in a statement. “Today is particularly difficult because coach Romar is such a beloved member of our university community. I want to thank Lorenzo and his family for 15 years of dedicated service and sacrifice to our university.”

    Romar went 298-196 with the Huskies, earning six NCAA Tournament berths and three appearances in the Sweet 16. However, the Huskies never experienced a Final Four under his watch despite several talented teams. The bottom fell out this season, as Washington went 9-22 with just two Pac-12 wins, closing the season on a school-record 13-game losing streak.

    Recruiting was never too much of an issue under Romar, but maximizing that talent ultimately was what lost him his job. The 2014-15 season was particularly rough, as center Robert Upshaw was dismissed at midseason for violating team rules, and all-Pac-12 guard Nigel Williams-Goss transferred to Gonzaga after a 16-15 campaign.

    But there were certainly highlights in his tenure. Romar took the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 2004 and was a No. 1 seed the following season. He won two outright Pac-12 regular season titles, which snapped a 56-year drought, and three Pac-12 Tournament titles.

    “I was really looking forward to coaching our team next year and beyond,” Romar said. “However, God had a different plan. I am proud of a lot of things we were able to accomplish in the 15 years that we were here. I want to thank all of the coaches, players and staff who played a part in that success. I will always support the University of Washington, and pull for the Huskies.”

    The school owes Romar $3.2 million as part of his contract that ran through the 2019-20 season.

    It will be interesting to see how the team’s upcoming recruiting class will ultimately shape up, as Michael Porter Jr. is the gem of what was supposed to be an outstanding haul. He is the son of Washington assistant coach Michael Porter Sr.

    MORE: Minnesota Turnaround Leads To NCAA Tournament – And Back To Being An Underdog

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