FAYETTEVILLE -John Pelphrey has been dismissed as the head men's basketball coach at the University of Arkansas it was announced Sunday by Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long.
Pelphrey recently completed his fourth season with the Razorbacks compiling an overall record of 69-59 (.539), including a 25-39 (.391) mark in Southeastern Conference play. Arkansas finished 18-13 (7-9 SEC) this season including a 74-68 loss to Tennessee in the first round of the 2011 Southeastern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament last Thursday.
Long announced a national search for a new men's basketball coach will begin immediately.
"After a thorough and comprehensive evaluation of our men's basketball program, including an assessment of the overall student-athlete experience within our program, it is clear that we have not made the progress over the last four years that is necessary to return Razorback Basketball to a place of national relevance." Long said. "As a program, our initial goals are to challenge for Southeastern Conference championships, compete in the NCAA Tournament and support our student-athletes in the pursuit of a degree. Our program's tradition demonstrates those goals are certainly attainable at the University of Arkansas.
"I want to thank John and his staff for their hard work and dedication to the Razorback program. I am appreciative of their efforts on behalf of the University of Arkansas."
Pelphrey was hired as the University of Arkansas' men's basketball coach on April 9, 2007. In his first season, Pelphrey led the Razorbacks to a 23-12 record, 9-7 in the SEC, and earned a berth in the SEC Tournament championship game and a win over Indiana in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. In 2009, Arkansas finished the season 14-16 including a 2-14 mark in SEC play. Arkansas posted a 14-18 record in 2010 including a 7-9 conference record. The 2011 season marked the third-straight season without the Razorbacks earning a post-season tournament berth.
The University of Arkansas recently completed its 88th season on men's basketball. The Razorbacks won the 1994 NCAA Championship and earned a national runner-up finish in 1995. Arkansas has advanced to a total of six NCAA Final Fours, made 10 NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances and won 40 NCAA Tournament victories. The Razorbacks have won 24 conference championships (22 SWC, 2 SEC), four SEC divisional championships and seven conference tournament championships (6 SWC, 1 SEC).
"The University of Arkansas has a proud tradition in basketball including playing in one of college basketball's best arenas, Bud Walton Arena, and in front of the nation's most passionate fans," Long said. "It is because of this passion that we seek to elevate our program on and off the court."
John Pelphrey Year by Year Record at Arkansas
Year - Overall, SEC, Postseason
2007-08 - 23-12, 9-7, NCAA Second Round
2008-09 - 14-16, 2-14, None
2009-10 - 14-18, 7-9, None
2010-11 - 18-13, 7-9, None
Totals - 69-59, 25-39