Drake Coach Rudy Washington Resigns
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ A week after saying he planned to remain for the last year of his contract, Drake basketball coach Rudy Washington resigned Friday.
``The next game we lose will be my last coaching game at Drake. I made the decision. It was time to pursue other opportunities and interests,″ Washington said in St. Louis where the Bulldogs are playing in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
``I want to pursue and have the opportunity to pursue a career in athletic administration. I told the guys (team) that they should be happy for me.″
Washington, 44, has been Drake coach since 1990, coming from Iowa where he was an assistant to Tom Davis.
``I feel good about my decision. Coaching is a tough profession, a tough situation. When you get to do what you do and enjoy it, you’re very lucky. I’ve had a lot of great days at Drake and wish them only success.″
In a news release from Drake, Washington said it was time for him to move on.
``After coaching for more than two decades, it is time for me to enter the next phase of my career. I am actively considering several opportunities within athletic administration that will enable me to put to use all the skills I have acquired as a coach and as an executive within the professional and intercollegiate athletic arenas,″ Washington said.
Washington has been mentioned recently for several athletic administration positions, including commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
``I am not pursuing that job, and I have not been interviewed for it,″ Washington said last week. ``They talked to me, but at this point I have not seen any further interest.″
Washington, who is executive director of the Black Coaches Association, has a record of 63 wins and 101 losses at Drake and has never had a winning season. His team has a Missouri Valley record of 39-65.
This season, Drake is 12-14 and 8-10, which tied the Bulldogs for sixth in the Valley. Drake is seeded eighth in the Missouri Valley tournament and is scheduled to play league-leader Bradley in the first round of the tournament on Saturday.
``My last word is that I think we need better communication _ communication between administration and coaches. If we had that, it would be like the Great Wall or the Berlin Wall coming down.″
Athletic director Lynn King said the search is on for a new coach.