UCF Athletics Director Keith Tribble announced Monday morning that former Conference USA coach of the year Kirk Speraw will no longer serve as head men’s basketball coach, ending his 512 game tenure in the position.
“There was not one particular factor, but collectively I did not think the program was moving in the right direction” Tribble said when asked about the timing of the firing. “I’m not naïve to know that all of our programs aren’t ready to win championships, but they need to be in the championship hunt.”
Despite a promising start to the season, Speraw’s Knights limped to a 15-17 record, going 6-10 in Conference USA play and bowing out of the conference tournament in the second round.
UCF will begin its search for the sixth coach in school history immediately. When asked about potential successors, Tribble declined to mention specific names but said he has some names in mind. “It’s about a fit.” Tribble said. He stated that the process for finding a new coach “Starts tomorrow.” This is the first time UCF has been on the hunt for a men’s basketball coach since Speraw took over in 1993.
Questions were raised about the effect Kirk’s departure will have on recruiting. “You can’t win the Kentucky derby with a donkey” Tribble said after declaring his desire for higher-level recruits given the status of Central Florida’s facilities. “Its important we get someone on board so he can get on the job, get running, and get ready to go.”
Speraw’s 179 career victories stand as the most ever by a basketball coach in UCF history. Coach Speraw passed Torchey Clark to break the all time wins record earlier this year with a victory over East Carolina on February 2nd.
Overall Speraw complied a record of 279-233 in a career at UCF that spanned over 16 years. Speraw led the Knights to two NCAA tournament berths during the early part of the decade.
Mike Jasluski, an assistant to Speraw the past season, will wear the interim label until a new head coach is found.