It’s well known by now that Troy men’s basketball Head Coach Phil Cunningham was relieved of his leadership duties over the past week. What’s not known, however, is where Troy goes from here, and if it was even the right move.
Cunningham’s six seasons at Troy came to an end despite ending the season with a win on the road. His 80-111 record as a Trojan seemed to be the highlight of his dismissal, despite leading Troy to a conference title and an NCAA tournament berth in 2017.
Troy Athletic Director Jeremy McClain had the following to say about Cunningham’s dismissal.
“I want to thank Phil Cunningham and his staff for their dedication to Troy University,” said McClain. “They have always represented us the right way and cared deeply for our student-athletes. However, at this point I feel it is necessary for us to provide new leadership for the program moving forward. We will begin immediately in the search for our next head coach.”
Cunningham took to twitter expressing his disappointment with the outcome.
“I am disappointed by the decision to make a change at this point when I still have two years remaining on my contract, but I also understand the volatile nature of this profession. I’m extremely grateful to John Hartwell for providing me with the opportunity six years ago, and I will greatly miss all of the wonderful players and other I got to know at this outstanding university.”
McClain stated that the search is on for the next Trojan basketball coach, only the third coach in 37 years and the seventh in program history. Don Maestri preceded Cunningham, with Cunningham’s successor to follow soon.
Trojan Athletics has yet to name any candidates to fill the void left by Cunningham, but an announcement can be expected to be made in the coming weeks as other college programs begin to wrap up their seasons following the NCAA tournament.
The future of Troy athletics is looking bright from all angles with new leadership, beginning with Chip Lindsey and Troy football.
A new coaching staff for the men’s basketball team has the potential to kick-start the recruiting pool that Troy basketball is capable of.
Only time will tell what the Troy men’s basketball team will look like in a year, hoping to far remove itself from a near last place finish in the Sun Belt during the 2018-19 season.