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Wainwright to Depart DePaul

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jan 11, 2010 3:20PM

DePaul has called a press conference for 11 a.m. this morning to address the future of the school's basketball program and it's expected that the main announcement will be the departure of Jerry Wainwright. The Blue Demons are 7-8 so far this season, and have opened their Big East conference play with an 0-3 record. But his firing had been rumored since last spring, after the Blue Demons finished their conference schedule 0-18 as they stumbled to an overall 9-24 record.

A departure last spring may have been complicated by the fact Wainwright's under contract until the end of the 2011-12 season at $800k annually -- instead he was forced to replace the rest of his coaching staff. But perhaps the coach's recent injury facilitated a change on the sidelines. On Wednesday, Wainwright suffered a torn MCL and fractured tibia after a sideline collision against Villanova. The injury may provide cover for the school's change of direction for their basketball program in a way that lets both the coach and school save face. Athletic Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto is expected to name an interim head coach for the Blue Demons, before she begins to search for a permanent replacement.

Wainwright is a Chicago-area native (he once coached my high school alma mater's team), who came to DePaul from the University of Richmond after Dave Leitao took the Virginia head coaching job in 2005. While Wainwright won 20 games in his second season at DePaul, he's had only the one winning season and holds a 59-80 record with the Blue Demons.