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.