Wake Forest University Athletic Director Ron Wellman announced in a 4:30 press conference that head men's basketball coach Dino Gaudio would not be retained.
The search for a new basketball coach will be on a national level and begin immediately.
The press conference at Deacon Tower began promptly at 4:30. Ron Wellman arrived around 4:25 and talked to SID Steve Shutt for a couple of minutes before he took the podium.
Wellman began the conference with a statement about the current state of the program and how he came to the decision to fire Dino Gaudio.
"I met with Dino this afternoon and informed him that he would no longer be our basketball coach," said Wellman.
Wellman cited several times the lack of improvement throughout the course of the season.
"We needed to improve in the late season and in the post-season. Wake Forest did not meet that goal sufficiently this year. We were 16-17 in March over the past three seasons...I took a look at everything statistical and there was a significant decline from February to March, and even more so from March into tournament play...We had two decisions to choose from: we could either use the staff that we had and try to fix things within, or we could seek a change and go in a new direction. We will begin searching immediately for a new coach. I have no idea how long it will take but it will move quickly and be given my undivided attention." said Wellman.
After the statement by Ron Wellman, the conference was opened to questions for the media. There were approximately 20 questions asked, ranging from whether the staff would be retained, what would happen with the recruits, how Dino reacted to the firing, and how the basketball landscape affected the decision to retain Gaudio.
Here are a few of the most pressing questions and how Ron Wellman responded.
Question: Will our staff be obtained?
Answer: The coaching staff will be retained until a new head coach is hired and then it will be up to his discretion as to whether or not the assistants and director of basketball operations will be retained.
Question: Why was the decision to fire Gaudio made now, rather than two weeks ago when the season ended.
Answer: It took that long to fully review the team this year, and over the past two years and how Wake Forest compared to the rest of the college basketball landscape. I did not want to make a snap judgment because all of the candidates that I would like to look at are still available.
Question: Was Dino surprised when you informed him that he would not be retained?
Answer: Yes, he looked very surprised and shocked, but he handled it professionally. He asked all the right questions. He wanted to know why he was fired and I told him that it was because of the lack of success in the post-season. There were long moments of silence, which was understandable given the situation, and at the end he thanked me for the opportunity.
Question: How will this affect the recruiting class that we have coming in for 2010?
Answer: I hope that it will not affect the recruiting class at all. We are not going to rush into a decision as to who we are going to hire based on whether or not we can keep one or two players from this class. These players made a commitment to Wake Forest and we made a commitment to them. We will certainly encourage them to stay here.
Question: Is there currently a list that you have for the next head coach and can you share that with us now?
Answer: We are looking for somebody successful to step in at Wake Forest University. There is certainly a list of coaches that I have in mind. You always want to have a list in case something happens or you need to take action, like we do now. We want somebody that will reflect Wake positively and I have always thought that the "fit" is very important at Wake Forest. We will hire somebody that fits in with the parameters of the University. I desire for that person to be a current head coach, but if we find an assistant coach that we like a lot, we will certainly give them a fair look.
The press conference in its entirety will be available on Blogger So Dear within the next 24-48 hours. These quotes are just a snapshot of the most important things that were discussed at the press conference.