After placing head coach John Brannen on administrative leave last week, Cincinnati officially announced on Friday that it was parting ways with its head coach. Brannen was 32-21 in two seasons at the helm, won a share of the AAC title in 2020 and would have likely made the NCAA Tournament had it not been cancelled.
“The decision to move in a new direction comes after a thorough review of our program, which included conversations with student-athletes, coaches and staff, as well as with Coach Brannen,” AD John Cunningham said in a letter. “Ultimately, the University is acting in the best interests of our student-athletes and of the institution, and this decision is reflective of our commitment to both, as well as to our values that we hold dear. As this is a personnel matter, we are unable to provide further details of the program review or the decision.”
A number of Bearcats’ players decided to transfer from the program at the end of this past season, sparking word of a major rift between Brannen and the players. The coach was placed on administrative leave on April 3rd and it appears the University plans to fire him with cause.
In a statement on Twitter, Brannen wrote: “I am disappointed with this decision for a long list of reasons, but mostly because it was made long before the university even commenced its ‘investigation’ into the basketball program. I look forward to the opportunity to bring the true facts to light.”
For our list of potential replacements at Cincinnati, check out our Let’s Speculate! entry here.
credit to Sports Illustrated for the image