Brigham Young University basketball Coach Ladell Andersen ended months of speculation - at least among BYU fans - Friday morning when he announced his resignation at a Marriott Center press conference. And though it has been widely assumed that assistant coach Roger Reid would become Andersen's successor, Athletic Director Glen Tuckett said the school will begin a search.
"We will not throw it open to a national search. But saying that we'll hire from within doesn't mean it will be an intramural thing from just those within these walls," said Tuckett.Asked if the next coach must be LDS, Tuckett said, "It's not written anywhere. No, it is not. History has proven it's desirable, but I have not received a directive to that effect."
Word of Andersen's resignation leaked out Thursday after Andersen had called a Wednesday night meeting with faculty representative Dr. Clayne Jensen. "None of us associated with the program had any indication until Wednesday night when Ladell asked for a meeting," said Jensen. "When we got there and saw that Donna (Andersen's wife) was there, I knew that it was more than a routine meeting."
Tuckett said he was in New York this week and didn't learn of Andersen's wishes until he returned Thursday night. "We were not anticipating a change in coaches," said Tuckett. "I was out of town when Ladell made his decision. We will have to catch our breath and begin planning for the future."
BYU President Jeffrey Holland said the announcement came as a "complete surprise and something of a shock."
Andersen stepped down following a 14-15 season for the Cougars - the only losing season in his six years at BYU. He finished with a 114-71 mark at BYU. In 10 seasons at Utah State he built a 176-95 record and as coach of the Utah Stars of the ABA he coached the team to a 115-53 mark and won the Western Division championship twice.
Andersen came under public criticism in recent months, but he said he was never delivered an ultimatum by administrators. "There was never any pressure put on me in any way at BYU," said Andersen. "It was strictly a decision my wife and I and my family discussed and decided to do."
Andersen began his comments to the press by thanking relatives, coaches and friends who have aided him over the years. "The reason I'm resigning from the coaching job was just that I felt it had a sense of timing. It was the best thing for the university, myself and all concerned."
Reid, 41, was not at the press conference. He met with Andersen and the other coaches Friday morning. Asked before the meeting if they would open a major search for a coach, Reid said, "If they do that, I assume I would
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