Georgia basketball: Tom Crean is officially fired as Dawgs’ HC

Georgia basketball is officially on the hunt for a new basketball coach as Athletic Director Josh Brooks announced Thursday evening that Tom Crean would no longer be with the program.

The announcement is no surprise, as AJC reported this would likely be the case once the season finished. However, the university just made it official.

Georgia finished 6-26 overall and 1-17 in SEC play — this is the worst record in program history.

Crean finished his fourth season with the Dawgs, which wasn’t good. The Dawgs signed him originally for a six-year deal, but after four, the university decided it was time for a leadership change. He leaves Georgia with a 47-75 overall record and 15-57 in conference games.

Georgia basketball and Tom Crean are no longer together, and the Dawgs are looking for their next coach.

The Dawgs brought him in to help get Georgia into the postseason. He replaced Mark Fox, but it has gone downhill rapidly in these four seasons. There was no competing in the postseason, much less the SEC.

Georgia basketball deserves better than what they got, and even though Crean had a lot of guys transfer out of the program, that threw up a ton of red flags. Why did these kids leave? Wherever they transferred to — they shined and found success.

It makes no sense why Crean couldn’t keep any momentum. Sure he got Anthony Edwards, but he was a one-and-done player regardless.

With the university terminating him before the end of his contract, there will be a buyout Georgia will have to pay him. Regardless of that buyout number, it was time to change head coaches.

In our opinion, the Dawgs and Crean didn’t make a good fit, and that disconnect was evident between him and the players.

“I would like to sincerely thank Coach Crean and his family for their commitment to Georgia Basketball,”  Brooks said in a public statement. “Tom Crean demonstrated unquestionable effort and enthusiasm in what he has attempted to accomplish at Georgia.  That said, our expectation is to compete for post-season success in all 21 sports. We believe a leadership change in men’s basketball is needed to achieve our goals.”

Brooks also stated that the search for the next head coach would begin immediately.

Georgia will have to make sure they make the right hire because there is no reason the Dawgs can’t be successful in football and basketball. Other Power 5 schools have found success in both, and as Brooks said in his statement, he wants Georgia competitive in all 21 sports — so they should make this a priority.

There are already multiple names circling around as candidates. Jonas Hayes, the former player, and assistant coach, is who most of the fans want. Then there is Cleveland State’s Dennis Gates and Murray State’s Matt McMahon.

Brooks will have his hands full with this hire as a fairly new athletic director. He has a fanbase that expects more out of the men’s basketball team, and rightfully so. This hire will be his biggest to date, so it’s important that he tries and makes the right hire.

Should he go with the former Dawg, or will Brooks hire someone with a little more experience to help rebuild this program? Georgia should be competitive in the SEC every year, and with the right hire, that will happen.