Wright State announces firing of Donlon

Wright State has officially announced the firing of men’s basketball coach Billy Donlon.

Donlon compiled a record of 109-94 in six seasons as head coach, including 22-13 this year while leading the Raiders to the Horizon League championship game for the third time in four years.

“Based on a careful evaluation of the basketball program and Coach Donlon’s overall body of work, I have decided to move in a different direction,” athletic director Bob Grant said in a press release.

“Billy has been a fine ambassador of the university and has demonstrated concern for the welfare of our student-athletes,” Grant added. “However, we simply have not achieved the level of performance that I feel our fans deserve and that I expect. I believe we have the best fans and facilities in the Horizon League, yet our fan engagement and overall success on the court has waned.

“We aspire to be a top 100 program, but have not reached that level in the last six years. These are not unrealistic expectations. We’ve been there before, and most of the other Horizon League schools have achieved at that level since. I want us to return there. Moreover, we have no NCAA appearances, NIT appearances, or victories over ranked opponents in the last six years. We need these types of achievements to energize our fan base.”

The release also addressed the delay in announcing the firing, which a week after Donlon was informed:

“The university and Billy Donlon’s representative have been in conversations for the last several days about the basketball program’s change in direction. Per policy and in the interest of fairness to both parties, the university’s position was to maintain confidentiality until such time as Donlon’s future role with the university was determined.”

Donlon came to WSU in 2006 as an assistant coach under Brad Brownell. When Brownell left for the Clemson job in 2010, WSU hired Donlon as the eighth head coach in program history.

He had his best season in 2012-13, leading the Raiders to a 23-13 mark. He came within one win of tying that win total this past season.

Keep your browser pointed here for more information, including more reaction from Grant on his decision to part ways with Donlon and the timeline for hiring a new coach.

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