The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
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Dement dumped

Basketball coach fired in ninth season
 Dement dumped
Dement dumped

Dement dumped

The men’s basketball team, the one that started out 8-4and notched wins over Texas Tech and nationally ranked Purdue alongthe way, is mired in a downward spiral.

Since their first 12 games, the Mustangs are 2-12.

The spiral continued Friday when Athletic Director Jim Copelandannounced the dismissal of head coach Mike Dement effectiveimmediately.

Dement, in his ninth season as head coach of the Mustangs, wasin the last year of his contract.

“I was hopeful we could wait until the end of theseason,” Copeland said. “After [the Boise State game] Ididn’t think that was going to happen.”

The 50-89 loss proved fatal to Dement’s coaching life atSMU.

Up until that game, Copeland was unsure of Dement’sfuture.

Copeland announced that assistant coach Rob Lineburg will serveas interim head coach until a replacement for Dement is found.

“There’s a lot of interest in this job,”Copeland said.

Copeland expects to pay a coach competitively with other schoolsplaying at SMU’s level.

Copeland insisted attractive factors to potential head coachesinclude the current players, the move to Conference USA, thecompetitiveness of teams in the C-USA and the city of Dallasitself

The search for a new coach began immediately followingDement’s dismissal.

Copeland deemed a good recruiting ability, a familiarity withTexas, prior coaching jobs, mentors and a shared set of valuesimportant factors in finding a new coach.

“We’re going to look at assistants and goodcoaches,” Copeland said. “There are good head coachesthat start out as assistants.”

Dement who started coaching at Cornell in 1986 has amassed a260-243 record as a head coach in NCAA basketball throughout 18seasons.

Dement led Cornell to a NCAA tournament appearance in 1988 inonly his second year as head coach. In his five seasons at Cornell,Dement posted a 67-67 record.

From Cornell, Dement moved on to the University of NorthCarolina-Greensboro. There, Dement compiled a 55-56 record in fourseasons.

From there, Dement came to SMU in 1995. Overall at SMU, Dementposted 138-120 record.

He led the Mustangs to an appearance in the NIT tournament in2000. In WAC play, Dement possesses a 58-52 mark. With the Mustangsdefeat of Purdue in January, Dement got his first win over a top-25ranked opponent.

However, after a promising first half of the 2003-04 season,things went downhill.

So far, the Mustangs have failed to win back-to-back WACcontests. The Mustangs have lost their last four contests matchingtheir longest losing streak of the season.

Marred by inconsistency, the team has lost eight tough games byfive points or less including two in overtime, but have also lostby double digits eight times.

The most embarrassing loss of the season came at the hands ofRice when the Mustangs were outscored 40-80.

Despite dismissing Dement, Copeland said that he was “verygood to work with from an administrative standpoint.”

“I appreciate Mike’s efforts while here atSMU,” Copeland stated in a press release.

“He has represented the university with class, led us tosome solid seasons and has graduated his student-athletes at one ofthe highest rates in the nation.”

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