George Washington is dealing with quite a mess as the start of the season officially begins in just 13 days. We’re just 8 weeks from seeing the first games of 2016-17 tip-off, and the Colonials are going to be without a head coach for the moment. It was reported by Dan Wolken of USA Today late Friday night that Mike Lonergan had been fired. But apparently, the coaching staff and players don’t “officially know” about the situation because it isn’t a done deal just yet. George Washington is in the process of buying out the coach’s contract, and those negotiations tend to linger on. Lonergan was also not present for dinner with a recruit last Friday night.
BREAKING: George Washington has fired basketball coach Mike Lonergan, per person informed of situation.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) September 17, 2016
The coming release of Lonergan is due to an ongoing investigation on Lonergan regarding verbal and emotional abuse towards both current and former players. Lonergan reportedly said some deplorable things directly to his players and also about the athletic director at George Washington. This investigation was conducted in late July and seemingly has concluded with Lonergan facing his fate. Though it hasn’t been made official just yet, Mike Lonergan will lose his job as the head coach of George Washington’s basketball program.
Lonergan led the Colonials to an NIT Championship last season after narrowly missing the NCAA Tournament. He took over as head coach in 2011 and has had 3 straight winning seasons with George Washington starting in 2013-14. Lonergan led GW to an NCAA Tournament bid in 2014 where the Colonials lost their first round matchup with Memphis. George Washington is expected to have somewhat of a rebuilding year in 2016-17 after losing so many seniors and transfers, but now this statement becomes overwhelmingly true as it will need to find a new head coach.
Mike Lonergan may search for another job in Division 1 college basketball, but there’s a good chance his coaching days are over. With what Lonergan supposedly said to current and former players, no administration is going to want to hire such a loose cannon. Though it’s going to be anything but smooth sailing for the Colonials in the next couple months, it seems that they most likely made the right decision in choosing to fire Mike Lonergan. Whether or not they can find an effective replacement before the start of the season is up in the air. Check out the Washington Post’s article from July detailing the investigation.