Bradley Fires Molinari As Coach
%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:STK104-030202; AUDIO:%)
PEORIA, Ill. (AP) _ Jim Molinari was fired as Bradley’s basketball coach Tuesday after completing a 9-20 season in his 11th year with the Braves.
Assistant coach Al Biancalana was appointed interim head coach.
University president David Broski cited the team’s 42-48 record during the three seasons he has been president. He said Bradley should regularly challenge for conference titles and NCAA tournament bids.
``I think we should be holding our teams to a higher standard than that,″ he said. ``Basketball is very much a core part of our traditions and history, and I think we need to pay attention to it.″
Athletic director Ken Kavanagh said the administration met with assistant coaches and players late Monday.
Molinari, the dean of Missouri Valley Conference coaches, was not at Tuesday’s news conference. Since taking over the program in April 1991, Molinari has a 174-152 record.
Assistants Duane Broussard and Howard Moore will remain on staff at least until their contracts expire at the end of May, Kavanagh said.
Bradley ended its season Saturday, losing to Southern Illinois 66-44 in the quarterfinals of the league tournament. Last year the team was 19-12 and advanced to the postseason, losing in the first round of the NIT.
Molinari went 18-39 in his first two seasons at Bradley, then coached the Braves to three straight 20-win seasons. He was the MVC coach of the year in 1996, when Bradley won the regular-season conference title and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
Molinari’s teams have been to the NIT five times.