Indiana Fires Coach Tom Crean After Nine Years, But Coaching Family Is There To Support Him
Crean, last season’s Big Ten coach of the year, was terminated two days after Indiana fell to Georgia Tech in the first round of the NIT, an end to a tenure during which the coach, who will be 51 later this month, was never quite able to restore the Hoosiers to greatness.
Despite winning two Big 10 championships under Crean—whose brother-in-law is Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh— Indiana (18-16) missed the NCAA Tournament five times and reached it four during his tenure.
In those four years, the Hoosiers never advanced beyond the Round of 16. They have won five national championships in their program’s history.
“Ultimately we seek more consistent high levels of success, and we will not shy away from our expectations,” Athletic Director Fred Glass said in a statement.
Success indeed came early for Indiana this season: they defeated Kansas and North Carolina– both top seeds in the NCAA Tournament— to become the No. 3 team in the nation. But when Big 10 play began, the Hoosiers struggled. They lost 10 of their first 15 conference games, including seven of eight in a dreary four-week stretch across January and February. Indiana finished 10th and then fell to Wisconsin in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.
Crean joined Indiana in 2008 from Marquette, where he reached the Final Four with a team led by Dwyane Wade in 2003. He took over a Hoosiers program tarnished by a recruiting scandal that culminated in the firing of his predecessor, Kelvin Sampson.
Crean’s process of reinvigorating Indiana’s basketball program was a gradual one. In his first season as coach, the Hoosiers suffered their worst campaign in school history, going 6-25 over all, 1-17 in conference play. They improved from there, their breakout season coming in 2011-12, when they went 27-9. The subsequent season, Indiana went 29-7 and won the Big 10 Tournament, though it lost to Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament Round of 16.
Only U.C.L.A. and Kentucky have won more national championships than Indiana, which is tied with Duke and North Carolina for third on that list. However, the Hoosiers have not won a national championship in over 30 years.