UPDATED 4:15 p.m.
Virginia Tech Athletic Director Jim Weaver said at a news conference Wednesday that he and Tom Gabbard, the school’s associate director of athletics for internal affairs, decided last week to terminate Coach Seth Greenberg’s tenure as Hokies men’s basketball coach.
Weaver said he has already fielded calls about the position from “some of the biggest names in the business” about a potential replacement for Greenberg. He added that the coaching search will begin on Tuesday.
Weaver said that he would have made the move even if the assistant coaches had remained on Greenberg’s staff. But he also said that the turnover among Virginia Tech’s assistant coaches — two assistants recently left to take similar jobs at UAB, and a person with knowledge situation said the remaining assistant was in negotiations to leave for Old Dominion — had a bearing on his decision to fire Greenberg.
Virginia Tech announced late Monday morning that it would be holding a news conference at 4 p.m. Weaver said at the news conference that he told Greenberg about his decision “at approximately 1:30 this afternoon.” Weaver said he notified the team at 3:25 p.m. Monday, after Greenberg had notified his players himself.
“I would say it’s safe to say he was shocked,” Weaver said of Greenberg’s reaction to the news that he was being fired.
Virginia Tech men’s basketball Coach Seth Greenberg has been fired after nine seasons with the Hokies, according to two people with knowledge of the situation who requested anonymity because the school has not made an official announcement.
Virginia Tech will have to pay Greenberg $1.2 million to buy out the remaining four years on his contract.
Greenberg compiled a 170-123 overall record during his time in Blacksburg, but only made one NCAA tournament in 2006-07. This past season, the Hokies finished with a 16-17 record, just the second time they had finished with a record worse than .500 record under Greenberg.
Weaver told The Post in February that despite the disappointing campaign, Greenberg’s job security was “not even a topic” at that point in time. But since then, Greenberg has seen two of his three assistant coaches, and his director of basketball operations, depart for other jobs.
According to a third person with knowledge of the situation, Greenberg’s lone remaining assistant coach, John Richardson, had been negotiating to take a similar position at Old Dominion in the past week. Richardson was an assistant at Old Dominion before coming to Virginia Tech.
But it seems Monday’s firing caught Greenberg by surprise. When reached by phone when news first broke about an afternoon news conference late Monday morning, Greenberg was hosting a recruit on campus and even joked with a Washington Post reporter, “I’m still employed, so I don’t think it’s about me.”