Buffalo has fired men’s basketball coach Whitesell

Jim Whitesell is out as the University at Buffalo men’s basketball coach after his first losing season in four years on the job, the school announced Saturday.

“We felt that a change in the leadership of our men’s basketball program was necessary,” athletic director Mark Alnutt said in a statement.

Whitesell was under contract through the 2024-25 season and was due to receive a $500,000 buyout as part of his contract if he was fired before April 5.

The move comes two days after the sixth-seeded Bulls (15-17) lost 101-77 to third-seeded Akron in the quarterfinal round of the Mid-American Conference tournament. It marked the Bulls’ third quarterfinal loss under Whitesell.

He finished with a 70–49 record in Buffalo and led the team to a postseason appearance in a 2021 NIT berth, which ended with a first-round loss to Colorado State.

The lack of postseason success and drop-off in recruiting was considered a disappointment for a school that had established itself as a MAC power. It made a combined four NCAA tournament appearances — including the program’s first — under Bobby Hurley and Nate Oats from 2014 to 2019.

Whitesell came to Buffalo as an assistant on Oates’ staff and was promoted when Oates left to coach at Alabama.

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