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Georgia Tech fires head basketball coach Brian Gregory

Contractual obligations to Gregory and former head coach Paul Hewitt could put financial constraints on the upcoming coaching search.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets announced on Friday afternoon that head basketball coach Brian Gregory won't be back for a sixth season next fall after winning 21 games and taking the Yellow Jackets to the quarterfinal round of the NIT, the best result of his tenure in Atlanta.

"This was a difficult decision because of the character and integrity that Brian has demonstrated throughout his time at Georgia Tech," athletic director Mike Bobinski said in a statement. "I have great respect for Brian as a person and for the effort he's put forth on our behalf. He and the student-athletes under his direction have represented Georgia Tech in a first-rate manner and we're greatly appreciative of the improvements he's overseen in our program's academic performance. However, as we look to the future, we believe a change in leadership is needed for our program to achieve higher and sustained levels of competitive success."

Gregory was hired by Georgia Tech in 2011 after a successful run at Dayton that included an NIT Championship in 2010, but was unable to reach the NCAA Tournament during any of his five season at Georgia Tech, finishing with a 76-86 record overall during his tenure.

In the lead up to Gregory's termination, there had been some monetary concerns about terminating Gregory as the lingering effect from the end of the Paul Hewitt era:

Georgia Tech still owes Paul Hewitt $900,000 per year for the next three years for a total of $2.7 million.  Brian Gregory's buyout would come to about $1.3 million.  For a school with athletic revenues as low as GT's, that is a ton of dead money if they fire Brian Gregory.  Part of the reason that Georgia Tech hired Brian Gregory was how limiting Hewitt's contract was.  Paying Hewitt $1.5 million a year plus the market rate for an ACC coach which is about $2 million dollars a year just was not feasible.  Now paying Hewitt AND Gregory AND a new market rate coach is just not feasible.

So athletic director Mike Bobinski may have limited budget as he pursues the next Georgia Tech head basketball coach.