MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Marquette fired basketball coach Mike Deane on Friday after the team finished with its first losing season in his five years.

Deane's departure, rumored since last week, was announced two days after Marquette (14-15) finished the season with a loss in the first round of the Conference USA tournament.

``Mike is a competitor and a fine game coach, and we wish him well,'' said the Rev. Robert Wild, Marquette president. ``But the coach and the university need to agree on the potential and goals of the program.

``When there is a difference of opinion on those goals, it's in both parties' best interests to part company.''

Deane, who had two years left on his contract, had led Marquette to four straight years with at least 20 wins before this season. His career record at Marquette was 100-55.

``We appreciate all that Mike has done at Marquette,'' said athletic director Bill Cords. ``But the time has come for us to go our separate ways.

``We have clear expectations for all aspects of our men's basketball program, expectations which are not limited to, but definitely include, the level of excellence the program is capable of achieving.''

Marquette's competitiveness ``has gradually eroded during the past five years,'' Cords said. ``And it has become increasingly clear that there is a fundamental difference in philosophy between Mike and Marquette in this regard.''

In the Conference USA tournament Wednesday, Marquette fell behind early, shooting just 22 percent from the field in the first half and being outrebounded 24-16 in a 59-52 loss to St. Louis.

For his career, which included coaching at Siena and Oswego State, Deane compiled a 290-157 record.