Florida A&M University fired basketball coach Mike Gillespie on Tuesday, less than three months after he was charged with misdemeanor stalking.
“This employment action is in the best interests of the men’s basketball program and the university,” said James Ammons, who became the school’s president six weeks ago.
When reached on his cell phone, Gillespie referred the call to his attorney, Tim Jansen.
“We’re extremely disappointed,” said Jansen, who was informed of the decision by fax Tuesday morning. “I believe their action is totally premature.”
Jansen had been attempting to work out a settlement with state prosecutors. Gillespie has worn an ankle monitoring device since his arrest.
“Players are finding out that he was terminated before the coach was informed,” Jansen said. “It’s shocking, what FAMU has done and the way they handled this.”
Associate athletic director Alvin Hollins said a committee would be formed to hire a new head coach. No decision has been made on the current assistants, which include Gillespie’s son, Mike Gillespie Jr. The school will use an interim coach, Hollins said.
Gillespie completed his sixth season at Florida A&M by taking the team to its first 20-win season since 1988-89 and its second NCAA tournament berth in his tenure.
He came to Florida nearly 20 years ago, coaching at St. Leo College for two seasons before coming to Tallahassee in 1990 to coach at a community college.
– Associated Press
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