It was announced today at 1:00 pm CST in a Press Conference by Skip Bertman, Athletic Director at Louisiana State University that head basketball coach John Brady had been fired on Thursday, February 7, 2008. Brady’s record this year hasn’t been the greatest with 1-6 in SEC and 8-13 overall. He will be immediately replaced by Butch Pierre, former associate head coach, who will take over as the new interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Brady had been the head coach of the men’s basketball program since 1997.
Under Brady’s reign, the Tigers clenched two SEC Championships, the most recent in 2006 and 2000. They have made 4 trips to the NCAA Championships and advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2000. However, a slow start in the season this year combined with a losing season last year caused the University to take quick action with releasing him during mid-season. Brady was named SEC Coach of the Year in both 2000 and 2006.
Coach Brady succeeded Dale Brown as head coach at LSU. He had many struggles with the program, including inheriting some NCAA sanctions and probations that were imposed during the end of Brown’s reign. Attrition also added to the troubles with several well known players heading to the NBA and entering the draft before graduating. Stromile Swift, Brandon Bass, Tyrus Thomas and “Big Baby” Glen Davis all left LSU before their eligibility was exhausted. To date, only 13 players have graduated during his tenure as head coach.
Combined with dwindling attendance at home games, losing games and unhappy fans, it was only a matter of days until the ax dropped for Brady. Brady came to LSU from Samford University where he coached for 6 years. He became the winningest coach in history for the school with a record of 89-77. Prior to his collegiate coaching, he coached high school teams in Louisiana. In 1981, Brady won the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class AAA “Coach of the Year” award.
Brady’s most memorable season was the 2005-2006 season. The Tigers entered the season unranked but fought their way to an SEC Championship. “Big Baby” Glen Davis and Tyrus Thomas led the team to a #4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They defeated No. 1 seed Duke and No. 2 seed Texas to advance to the Final Four. They were defeated by UCLA in the first game by a score of 59-45. This was the Tigers first appearance in a Final Four game since 1986.
The following season ended with a 17-15 record and 5-11 in SEC. Brady held an overall record at LSU of 184-126 in his 10 year tenure. Brady had three years remaining on his contract which will cost LSU a bundle with an estimate of up to $1 million for the 3 years.