OGDEN, Utah –Weber State University announced today that Joe Cravens has been released from his duties as head coach of the men’s basketball team following back-to-back losing seasons.
The announcement comes just days after the team lost its final four games to finish with a 10-17 record (4-10 in conference play)—last in the Big Sky Conference. The team failed to qualify for the conference tournament for the first time since 1981. The number of wins was the fourth-lowest total in the program’s history.
The Wildcats recorded back-to-back losing seasons for only the third time since the team began playing at the Division I level in 1962-63. The Wildcats went 14-16 (7-7 Big Sky) during the regular season in 2004-2005.
WSU Athletic Director Jerry Graybeal said Cravens, who has two years remaining on his contract, will be reassigned to other duties in Wildcat Athletics.
“It’s not always how many wins and losses you have at the end of the season, it’s how you got to that point,” Graybeal said.
Graybeal said the university will be forming a search committee shortly to begin the process of hiring a new coach.
“We will be accepting nominations and recommendations to find a new coach who’s the best fit for WSU basketball,” Graybeal said.
Cravens served two years as an assistant coach at WSU before being named head coach in 1999. In seven seasons leading the Wildcats, Cravens amassed a 116-88 record overall, 58-44 in the Big Sky.
In 2002-2003, Cravens led the Wildcats to his only Big Sky Conference title and NCAA Tournament berth. The Wildcats went 14-0 in conference play that season, and Cravens was named Big Sky Coach of the Year.
WSU has had only three seasons with fewer than 10 victories. In 1986-87, under coach Larry Farmer, the team went 7-22 (4-10 Big Sky). That was also the last time WSU finished at the bottom of the conference standings. The Wildcats had an 8-19 (5-9 Big Sky) record in 1980-81 under coach Neil McCarthy. Farmer’s 1987-88 squad went 9-21 (6-10 Big Sky).
In addition to Farmer’s back-to-back losing seasons in 1986-87 and 1987-88, WSU had consecutive losing campaigns in 1989-90 (14-15, 8-8) and 1990-91 (12-16, 7-9) under coach Denny Huston.
WSU men’s basketball has a 796-459 record all-time (.634 winning percentage), including a 395-214 (.649) mark in the Big Sky.
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