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Ohio coach Saul Phillips talks with his team during a timeout during the second half of the Bobcats’ game against Campbell on Nov. 12, 2018. (FILE)

Men's Basketball: Saul Phillips will not return as Ohio's head coach

Saul Phillips will not return as Ohio’s head coach, athletic director Jim Schaus announced Wednesday morning in a release. 

During his five seasons, Ohio was 40-50 in Mid-American Conference play and 81-77 overall.

This season, Ohio went 14-17 overall and finished 10th in the MAC with a 6-12 record. The fifth-year coach, whose team lost Monday night in the first round of the MAC Tournament for the second-straight season, became the Bobcats’ 18th coach in program history in 2014. 

Phillips’ initial contract expires on May 15. He’s the highest paid employee on campus, and his base salary of $550,000 is the second highest of men’s basketball coaches in the conference.

"We are making a change in the leadership of our men's basketball program," Schaus said in the release. "I do not believe that our men's basketball program, that has a rich tradition of excellence, is where we need to be in terms of consistent, on-court success."

Over five seasons, Phillips’ teams have had turnover and injury problems. He’s had eight players transfer. Antonio Campbell, 2016 MAC Player of the Year, never finished his senior season due to injury. James Gollon will likely not play again, he only played one full season as a Bobcat. One of the top 3-point shooters in the country, Jordan Dartis, has undergone multiple hip surgeries and hasn’t played since last season.

Ohio went 2-6 in the MAC Tournament under Phillips. The Bobcats never reached a MAC Tournament Championship Game or won a regular season title. Ohio completed back-to-back losing seasons Monday night for the first time since 2002-03 and 2003-04, when it was coached by Tim O’Shea.

"I would like to thank Saul Phillips and his staff for their dedication and service," Schaus said. "They created a very positive culture for our student-athletes and did their jobs with the utmost integrity. They are quality people, and I wish them the very best in the future."

No successor has been named. 

A national search for Phillips' successor will begin immediately, per the release.


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