On Monday, Weaver moved forward with that gut feeling, firing Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg after nine seasons but only one NCAA tournament appearance.
Weaver cited the recent upheaval in Greenberg’s coaching staff and the lack of continuity within the program as the main reasons for making the decision after telling The Post in February that Greenberg’s job security “wasn’t even a topic” at that point.
In the past month, two of Greenberg’s assistants and his director of basketball operations left for similar jobs at other programs. According to a person familiar with the situation, Greenberg’s lone remaining assistant, John Richardson, was also in negotiations last week to join the staff at Old Dominion. Coach Blaine Taylor announced Monday evening that Richardson had been hired by the Monarchs.
It was the second time in three years Greenberg had to fill at least two spots on his coaching staff during the offseason.
“I don’t like coaches leaving an ACC program where we have constantly got to replenish all of our staff. I can certainly understand some coaches leaving, but to have as many leave as we had sat wrong with me,” Weaver said at a news conference on Monday. “It had nothing to do with losing, it had nothing to do with NCAA appearances. It had something to do with people leaving.”
“I want to change the leadership such that the person at the top of that program has the same kind of family environment that the other part of our department has,” he later added. “And it became crystal clear last week when I closed our workshop, that we didn’t have that in the men’s basketball program, especially with people leaving.”
Greenberg finished his nine-year tenure in Blacksburg with the second-most wins in program history, compiling a 170-123 record and earning two ACC coach of the year awards (2005 and 2008). The Long Island native helped shepherd the Hokies into the ACC, but Virginia Tech qualified for the NCAA tournament just once and finished with a 16-17 record this past season, just the second time Virginia Tech finished with a below-.500 record under Greenberg.
Weaver said he and associate athletic director Tom Gabbard, who oversees the men’s basketball program, came to the conclusion that even if Greenberg had been given another year, they had no plans to extend his contract any further. They felt with at least three staff vacancies to fill, this was the appropriate time to move in another direction.
But Greenberg was caught off-guard by Monday’s firing. When reached by telephone after 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,” he said.