Eddie Jordan has been fired after three seasons as head coach for his alma mater, Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights compiled a dismal 29-67 record during Jordan’s tenure and declined in both total and conference wins in each of his three seasons. Jordan took over the Rutgers program before it’s first and only season in the AAC, then led the team through the first two seasons of Big Ten play.
Jordan’s 2013 arrival marked a return to Rutgers for the coach, who had served as an assistant there from 1988-1991 and was himself a Scarlet Knights player in the mid-1970s. During his playing career, Jordan helped lead the Knights to the program’s only Final Four appearance in 1976.
Despite his stellar tenure on the court, the success did not translate over to the sideline. That is not to say that he didn’t face his fair share of challenges off the court. The program was trying to rebound from a player abuse scandal that caused both athletic director Tim Pernetti and previous head coach Mike Rice their jobs at the end of the previous season. Paired with two conference transitions in two years, the situation was tenuous throughout.
Prior to his Rutgers return, Jordan spent 17 seasons as an NBA assistant and head coach. As a head coach, he led the Washington Wizards to four straight NBA Playoffs appearances from 2004-2008. He also spent time as a head coach for the Sacramento Kings (1996-98) and Philadelphia 76ers (2009-2010).
So far the Big Ten has not been kind to Rutgers basketball, as the Scarlet Knights won just three games against conference opponents over two seasons (3-33). Though Rutgers finished in last place in each of the first two Big Ten campaigns, perhaps the highlight of Jordan’s tenure came on Jan 11, 2015, when Rutgers completed an incredibly improbable victory over the #4 Wisconsin Badgers in Piscataway. The loss was one of just two in conference that year for Wisconsin, which would go to win both the Big Ten regular season and tournament before making a run all the way the National Championship game (a loss to Duke).