MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Alabama fired men's basketball coach Anthony Grant, who led the Crimson Tide to just one NCAA Tournament berth in six seasons amid growing discontent among fans.
Athletic Director Bill Battle said in a statement that he informed Grant of his decision Sunday, three days after the Tide's loss to Florida in the opening round of the SEC Tournament.
"This has been a very difficult decision, as I have the highest respect for Anthony as a coach, as a molder of young men, and as a person," Battle said. "Anthony is a man of impeccable character who has been an excellent representative of our program. He has made tremendous contributions to our program and we always will be grateful for his efforts.
"In this business we are ultimately judged by wins and losses on the court and, for a variety of reasons, we haven't made satisfactory progress in that area."
Alabama finished 18-14 and struggled to an 8-10 record in SEC games a year after Grant's first losing season as a head coach. Battle gave him a reprieve after a 13-19 record in 2013-14, saying he felt it wasn't a program adrift and predicting "better things ahead."
But once again, the Tide's best postseason hope was an NIT bid. Alabama will host a first-round game with Illinois on Tuesday night, and it is unclear who will coach the team.
Grant was making $1.9 million annually through 2019 with a buyout of some $4 million, which would be reduced if he lands another job.
He led Alabama into the NCAA field in 2012, ending a six-year absence since the Tide's string of berths from 2002-06. Alabama ended the season without two injured starters, Shannon Hale and Ricky Tarrant
As the losses piled up the past two seasons, the Tide struggled to fill Coleman Coliseum, officially averaging 10,612 fans per game this season. That's nearly 5,000 below capacity and a number of crowds appeared much smaller.
Sports on 03/16/2015