Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wake Forest announces Gaudio firing

Wake Forest has announced that basketball coach Dino Gaudio has been fired after three seasons.

Gaudio was 61-31, 27-21 in the ACC, in three seasons. The school will immediately start a national search for a new coach.

"Dino has made contributions to this program over the last 10 seasons," Wake Forest athletics director Ron Wellman said in a statement. "He stepped into a difficult situation at a very trying time when Skip Prosser passed away and he steadied the program.

"But from a competitive standpoint, it has been disappointing that we have developed a pattern of not playing well late in the season and in the postseason. Wake Forest has a proud history of basketball success but we have not been as competitive in the postseason as we would like.”

Gaudio was named head coach on August 8, 2007 following Prosser's sudden death from a heart attack.

The Deacons were 17-13 in Gaudio’s first season and followed that with a 24-7 record in 2008-09. Wake Forest was ranked No. 1 in the nation in both polls in late January, 2009 but fell to Cleveland State in a first-round NCAA tournament shocker two months later. This past season, the Demon Deacons finished 20-11 and posted a first-round win over Texas in the NCAA Tournament before losing 90-60 to Kentucky in the second round.

Gaudio's teams had a habit of starting strong and fading down the stretch. Over the last three years, Wake Forest has lost its first round ACC tournament game to a lower-seeded opponent by 10 or more points. In all postseason games, the Deacons are 1-5 over the last three seasons.

Ken Tysiac