Samuels’ tenure ends at Eastern Illinois
Charleston, IL (Sports Network) – Eastern Illinois University has decided not
to renew the contract of men’s head basketball coach Rick Samuels, thus
ending a 25-year relationship between the coach and the school.
Samuels, who set the school record for career wins, trailed only Syracuse head
coaching great Jim Boeheim for coaches who have been with just one
institution. Boeheim, who recently notched his 700th career coaching win, is
in the midst of his 29th year at Syracuse, while Samuels just ended his 25th
campaign with the Panthers.
“Rick has directed the basketball program in a professional, first class
manner, has never wavered in upholding the proper values in coaching and
educating young men, and has been a positive ambassador for Eastern Illinois,”
said Director of Athletics Dr. Richard McDuffie. “However, the expectations of
success on the basketball court have not been met therefore it’s time to seek
new leadership in the men’s basketball program.”
The 2004-05 season marked the Silver Anniversary year for Samuels, but Eastern
Illinois struggled to a 12-16 mark, including a 7-9 record in Ohio
Valley Conference play. Samuels’ last game on the bench was Tuesday’s
72-68 first round setback to Tennessee Tech in the conference tournament.
Behind Samuels’ leadership, Eastern Illinois won 21 games in 2001 and earned
its second appearance in the NCAA Division I tournament before bowing out to
eventual runner-up Arizona.
Dubbed the “Dean of coaches in the Ohio Valley Conference”, Samuels leaves
Eastern Illinois with a career mark of 360-360.
According to the school, a national search will begin immediately for Samuels’