Friday, March 12, 2010
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AUBURN, Ala. -- Jeff Lebo was fired Friday as Auburn's coach after his fourth losing season in six years with the Tigers.
Brought in to rebuild the Tigers program in 2004, Lebo was unable to turn Auburn around and was dismissed by Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs after going 96-93 overall and 35-61 in Southeastern Conference play.
Lebo was able to take the Tigers into the postseason only once -- to the NIT in 2009.
While expectations were raised this season, Auburn finished 15-17, including 6-10 in the league. The team will return only one starter next season.
"I want to thank Coach Lebo for all that he has done for Auburn University over the past six years," Jacobs said. "Coach Lebo has worked hard and has always represented Auburn with character, class and integrity. However, we feel like the time has come for Auburn basketball to move in a new direction."
Jacobs made the move after the Tigers' season ended Thursday with a 78-69 loss to Florida in the SEC tournament. He said a search for a replacement would begin immediately.
Lebo was hampered in part by Auburn's basketball facilities, a coliseum built in the 1960s. Auburn's next coach will enjoy a different venue: The team will play in a new $90 million arena next season.
Lebo has three years remaining on his contract, which calls for a $1.5 million buyout. Lebo, a native of Carlisle, Pa., who played for North Carolina from 1985-88, began his college coaching career at Tennessee Tech.