USM backs men’s basketball coach Jay Ladner
PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi intends to keep Jay Ladner for at least one more season as men’s basketball coach.
USM athletic director Jeremy McClain tweeted Saturday that Ladner would remain at the helm “as we turn the page and prepare for next season ...
“... our focus and expectation continues to center around improving our men’s basketball program with Coach Ladner as our head coach.”
Ladner, a USM graduate who had spent four years as head coach at Southeastern Louisiana University, wrapped up the third year of a four-year contract this week when the Golden Eagles were eliminated in the Conference USA Men’s Basketball Championship’s quarterfinals.
It brought the curtain down on a 7-26 season that included a 1-17 conference record. It was fourth-most losses by a college team this season and the most by a USM team.
In Ladner’s three seasons, USM has not won more than nine games. His overall record 24-65 overall, or a 27 percent winning percentage. The Golden Eagles have won 10 C-USA games: in three seasons.
In his tweet, McClain said he realized that the 2021-22 basketball season was “a very challenging year ...” without “the results that we wanted or expected.”
But McClain also asked that fans stay steadfast as “(w)e all understand that significant work needs to be done and are committed to the process of building a foundation for long-term success.”
Per McClain’s complete tweet:
“It has obviously been a very challenging year for our men’s basketball program.
“We knew when we hired Coach Ladner three years ago that this would be an uphill battle in the form of a complete rebuild. Year Three hasn’t produced the results that we wanted or expected, and that has been frustrating for everyone involved.
“Coach Ladner and I have visited several times over the past few weeks to discuss the direction of the program and the necessary steps to get where we want to be.
“As we turn the page and prepare for next season, our focus and expectation continues to center around improving our men’s basketball program with Coach Ladner as our head coach. We all understand that significant work needs to be done and are committed to the process of building a foundation for long-term success.”
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