Fox out at Georgia after nine seasons

Fox out at Georgia after nine seasons

ATHENS, GA (WTOC) - The Georgia Bulldogs are in the market for a new head men's basketball coach.

The school announced Saturday Mark Fox will not return to Athens next season.

Fox finished his ninth season at Georgia Friday with a loss to Kentucky in the SEC Tournament. The Bulldogs went 163-133 in his tenure in Athens, including two NCAA Tournament trips and three appearances in the NIT.

But the Dawgs never seemed to take the next step under Fox. Georgia hadn't played in the NCAA Tournament since 2015, and never made it out of the Round of 64.

"In the end, I felt like we have not reached our full potential as a basketball program. I really thought we were on the way to turning the corner this year," Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said in a statement. "We just did not achieve the level of success as a program that I believe we should at the University of Georgia."

Fox seemingly did everything a university would want out of their head basketball coach, except win at a high level. The Dawgs were never in a negative spotlight for NCAA violations, and rarely did Fox's players end up in the headlines for the wrong reasons.

"For the past nine years, we have had the good fortune to coach some terrific young men," Fox said in a statement. "This chapter has closed, and I am grateful to the many who have helped us along the way, but especially to the young men who wore the red and black. We've been able to reach a couple NCAA Tournaments, a couple more NITs, and graduate our players. Hopefully, our time here can be the groundwork for more success."

Fox's job security has been a topic of discussion for Georgia fans and the national media for most of the past two seasons. Now that it's clear he won't return, the discussion turns to who the Dawgs' next coach will be.

Former Indiana and Marquette coach Tom Crean has been rumored to be a target. So has former longtime Ohio State head coach Thad Matta.

McGarity did not mention any specific targets in his statement, only saying the search is underway.

"It will be a national search in scope, and we will move as quickly as possible."