The Monarchs will have a new king leading them into Conference-USA come the fall.
A victim of the “what have you done for me lately?” culture of revenue college sports, Blaine Taylor is out as Old Dominion head basketball coach, the Virginian-Pilot first reported. The university will announce his dismissal at a 3 p.m. news conference this afternoon.
Taylor, who has spent the last 12 seasons at ODU, owns a school-record 239 wins. He led the Monarchs to nine consecutive winning seasons — averaging 24 wins over the previous eight — but it was the one season that fell well short of expectations, well shy of .500, that prompted his firing.
On the heels of a 22-win season and two years removed from Taylor’s best team to date — a 27-win squad which dropped a heartbreaking game to Butler in the opening round of the NCAA tournament — Old Dominion is 2-20 and has dropped 10 straight games.
North Carolina State senior transfer DeShawn Painter has given the Monarchs a lift, but Taylor has struggled masking an otherwise inexperienced roster. Old Dominion lost its top three scorers from last year’s team, including star guard Kent Bazemore, and starts two freshmen and a sophomore in their places.
The 55-year-old Taylor arrived in Norfolk in 2000 after spending three years as an assistant at Stanford. He quickly rebuilt a program that had relapsed under former coach Jeff Capel, transforming ODU into one of the premiere mid-majors in college basketball. A program known for physical play, interior toughness and a bullish mentality on the glass, the Monarchs under Taylor enjoyed a tradition of postseason visibility. The team won the Colonial Athletic Association conference tournament three times, reached the NCAA tournament in four seasons and advanced to the NIT semifinals in 2006.
Old Dominion will move into Conference-USA beginning with the 2013-14 seasons.