Utah head coach Ray Giacoletti has resigned.
March 2, 2007
SALT LAKE CITY -
Utah men's basketball coach Ray Giacoletti announced his resignation today. In accepting Giacoletti's resignation, Utah Director of Athletics Dr. Chris Hill confirmed that the University will honor the coach's contract by paying him $175,000 a year for the next four years.
Said Giacoletti, who plans to coach the Utes for the remainder of the season, "I'd like to thank Dr. Hill and the University for the opportunity I've had to coach here at Utah. No one wanted our team to succeed this year more than my staff and I, but that just wasn't the case. I felt that it was in the best interests of the University and the players that I resign and allow the program to move forward."
"We're all disappointed things didn't work out the way we wanted," said Hill. "Ray is a quality person and I wish him the best."
The Utes qualified for the NCAA Sweet 16 in Giacoletti's first season in 2004-05, but were just 25-32 in the past two seasons. Led by Consensus All-American Andrew Bogut - who became the NBA's top draft pick - the 2004-05 Utes went 29-6, captured the Mountain West Conference title and won two NCAA Tournament games. Utah finished 14-15 the next season, however, and are 11-17 this year with one regular season game remaining (tomorrow against Brigham Young in Provo). The Utes will play in the MWC Tournament next week.
Prior to taking the reins of the Utah program, Giacoletti had seven years of head coaching experience at the collegiate level - most recently at Eastern Washington, where he was named the 2003-04 Big Sky Coach of the Year. His first head coaching job was at NCAA Division II North Dakota State. Giacoletti served as an assistant coach for four years at both Illinois State and Washington.