March 14, 2005
While not confirming earlier reports that a team meeting would be held to discuss the future of head basketball coach Pete Gillen, University of Virginia Athletic Director Craig Littlepage held an emotional press conference, to announce Pete Gillen would step down immediately.
Word had circled locally and nationally that Gillen would be fired after this season if the Cavaliers failed to reach the NCAA tournament. Gillen has led his team to the NCAA tournament only one time during his seven years at the University of Virginia, and is 2-7 in ACC tournament games. His seven Virginia teams compiled an overall record of 118-93 and competed in five post season tournaments.
Littlepage said that he and Gillen concluded the time was right for Gillen to leave UVa's basketball program. "The team did not reach the goals we thought were achievable entering the 2004-2005 season", said Littlepage.
Asked to comment, University President John T. Casteen, III said, "It is bittersweet for everyone who has come to know Pete and who follows the progress of Virginia basketball."
Gillen, who has been at UVa for seven years, said he believes his decision is in the best interest of the program. "I have said many times the University of Virginia is a special place, and I still feel that way", said Gillen.
The search for a men's head basketball coach will begin immediately and is expected to take four to six weeks.
Under the terms of Gillen's contract, he will receive a buyout of approximately $2 Million.
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