WDBJ7 Web Staff
1:33 PM PDT, April 23, 2012
Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver announced Monday afternoon that Seth Greenberg has been fired as head coach of the men's basketball team.
Greenberg was notified of the decision at 1:30 p.m. Monday. Virginia Tech sent an email about Monday's news conference just after 11:30 a.m.
"I would say it's safe to say that he was shocked," Weaver said about Greenberg's reaction.
During a 4 p.m. news conference, Weaver said one reason Greenberg was fired is because a number of assistant coaches left the program. Three coaches left Virginia Tech after this season alone. Director of Basketball Jeff Wulbrunn and assistant coach Rob Ehsan left Virginia Tech for Alabama-Birmingham. Also, James Johnson left for Clemson.
In all, Greenberg lost six assistant coaches in the past four years.
"It had nothing to do with losing. It had nothing to do with NCAA appearances," Weaver said. "It had something to do with people leaving. It had something to do with me changing the direction of the program."
Weaver also cited a lack of "family environment" within the basketball program for their decision in firing Greenberg.
When pressed more about Greenberg's relationship with the rest of the department, Weaver said "I'm not here to throw coach Greenberg under the bus."
"If you could have been at our compliance and staff workshop and seen the camaraderie that we have, it would be easily understood," Weaver said. "Let me say it this way. Coach Beamer has terrific continuity in his program. I happen to believe continuity goes a long way to establish operations, whether it's in athletics, the business world, or wherever. And that's what I'd like to see in our entire department."
Greenberg's contract was also another reason Weaver cited for Greenberg's dismissal. According to Weaver, he and Gabbard had already decided that Greenberg would not receive a raise or contract extension.
Weaver said the search for a new coach will begin Tuesday. He acknowledged that he has already reached out to one person about the job, and that he has already fielded calls from people interested in the becoming the Hokies' next coach.
Weaver believes Virginia Tech will receive a "tremendous amount of interest because we are in the Atlantic Coast Conference, because we have an outstanding team coming back, and because of the fact that we have an outstanding new basketball practice facility"
Weaver said that he wouldn't rule out hiring an assistant, a young coach with limited experience, or a coach with a lot of experience to replace Greenberg.
Greenberg met with the team between 2 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. to let them know he had been fired. Weaver and Associate Director of Athletics for Internal Affairs Tom Gabbard met with the players at 3:25 p.m.
Weaver also talked in depth about assistant James Johnson leaving the program. He said Virginia Tech was prepared to match Clemson's offer to Johnson. However, Johnson told them leaving Virginia Tech was not about the money.
WDBJ7's Travis Wells has learned that Seth Greenberg has been fired as the head men's basketball coach at Virginia Tech.
WDBJ7 will live stream the 4 p.m. news conference at Virginia Tech. You can watch by clicking here.
Athletic director Jim Weaver said: "We decided we needed to go another direction in our men's basketball program. And that's exactly what I'm doing today," Weaver said.
He added: "We have decided to terminate Seth Greenberg as men's basketball coach."
Greenberg spent nine seasons as the Hokies' head coach, leading them to just one NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007.
The Hokies finished the 2011-12 season with a 16-17 record. The only other time the Hokies finished with a losing record under Greenberg was in 2006. He leaves Virginia Tech with a 170-123 record. Greenberg's 170 wins are the second-most in Virginia Tech history (Charlie Moir, 213). Prior to coming to Blacksburg, Greenberg was the head coach at South Florida and Long Beach State.
Greenberg had a hard time retaining assistant coaches during his tenure, losing six assistants in the past four years.
After this past season alone, Greenberg lost three assistant coaches. Director of Basketball Jeff Wulbrunn and assistant coach Rob Ehsan left Virginia Tech for Alabama-Birmingham. Also, James Johnson left for Clemson.
Check back later for more updates.
WDBJ7 has learned that Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Jim Weaver will hold a news conference Monday afternoon at 4 p.m.
It's not clear what the news conference is about. We will be live streaming the news conference here on our website, WDBJ7.com.
The news conference is being held in the Shott Media Center.
Check back later for more updates.