Controversial Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez has been fired, according to a report today in the Newark Star-Ledger. A spokesperson in athletic media communications confirmed the university is preparing an announcement for later this afternoon.
The Pirates suffered an 87-69 loss to Texas Tech in a first-round NIT game last night at a half-empty Prudential Center. Center Herb Pope was ejected from the game in the first half for punching Darko Cohadarevic below the belt. But Gonzalez's ouster has nothing to do with wins and losses.
According to the Ledger, the school's decision was a response to a pattern of behavior deemed unseemly. Gonzalez recently was the subject of a New York Times article that detailed some of his controversial actions and described his abrasive personality, not only at Seton Hall, but in his previous job at Manhattan. Just before the NIT, Gonzalez kicked Robert Mitchell off the team for making critical remarks about the lack of consistency in his coaching.
Prior to the past season, Seton Hall extended Gonzalez's contract through the 2015 season. But now, there appears to be a new job opening in the Big East. Before Gonzalez was hired, Hofstra's Tom Pecora turned the job down. Pecora currently is believed to be high on the list for the opening at Fordham and certainly would be a candidate at St. John's if that job became available. Now, that Seton Hall has a vacancy again, it would be surprising if the school didn't contact Pecora. They might get a different response this time around.