Desmond Oliver fired after two seasons at East Tennessee State

Brought in during uncertain times within the East Tennessee State program, Desmond Oliver has been fired after just two seasons as head coach. Oliver went 27-37 overall and 12-20 this past season.

“I met with Coach Oliver today, and we discussed the program is not meeting the expectations of the Athletics Department.” AD Dr. Richard Sander said in a statement. “We feel that parting ways is the best thing for our men’s basketball program and our student-athletes. We wish Coach Oliver the best in his future endeavors.”

When Steve Forbes left ETSU in 2020, the Buccaneers had won two of the last four SoCon titles and were one of the better mid-major programs in the country. The school elevated Jason Shay to be the head coach, forgoing a national search during a pandemic for the stability of an inside hire. But Shay only stuck around for one year, going 13-12 and making waves among conservative lawmakers in the state by kneeling with his team during the national anthem before a late season game.

Oliver was hired away from Tennessee, where he had been an assistant under Rick Barnes for the previous six seasons. Tasked with a both an image and team rebuild, Oliver’s Bucs finished 8th last year and 5th this year (combined 15-21 in SoCon play).


credit to Knox News for the photo