FAU men’s basketball coach Mike Jarvis announced Friday that he will resign at the end of the season.
Sources close to the FAU basketball program told the Sun Sentinel that FAU was set to fire Jarvis after six years in Boca Raton, but athletic director Pat Chun gave the 68-year-old coach the option to resign instead.
The resignation will likely lead Jarvis into retirement after 25 years as a Division I head coach.
Jarvis will coach FAU's final two regular-season games, the first coming Sunday against Southern Miss, as well as in the Conference USA Tournament.
Jarvis signed a three-year extension with the school in April 2012 and had one year remaining on his contract, which paid him close to $250,000 annually. Chun said FAU will not buy out the final year of Jarvis’ contract.
FAU blew a 16-point lead to Tulane on Wednesday — the Owls' fourth-straight loss — to push the team’s record to 10-19 and 5-9 in Conference USA. Jarvis has amassed a 77-109 record at FAU.
“This decision is based upon my desire to explore other opportunities and in recognition that we are jointly disappointed that the men’s basketball program has not progressed as much as we would have liked,” Jarvis said in a press release sent out by FAU. “I thank FAU for the opportunity to coach the fine student-athletes of FAU for the past six years.”
The Owls had losing records in five of Jarvis’ six seasons at the helm. In FAU's only non-losing season under Jarvis, he guided the team to the 2011 NIT, where the Owls were blown out by Miami in the first round.
Chun said in a late-afternoon conference call that he met with Jarvis at breakfast and the coach's decision to resign came after that meeting.
“We got into some big-picture discussions about where we’re at and where we’re headed. As the day progressed we came to good place where we both decided the best thing for FAU and for Mike Jarvis is that we’re going to go in a different direction at the end of this season,” Chun said. “You take a look at the program as a whole, Mike agreed, we’re under-performing in certain key areas… He resigned because we came to a mutual decision.”
Chun said that he had not had any in-depth discussions with Jarvis about the coach’s job since their season-end review last year. He also denied that there was a singular event that led to their Friday meeting.
“You’re always in analysis mode with any of your programs,” Chun said. “I don’t think anyone associated with our basketball program is happy with the record and what it’s been over the last six seasons. You’re evaluating everyone everyday in this role.”
Chun took over as FAU’s athletic director in July 2012. In November, he fired football coach Carl Pelini after drug-use accusations were brought forward by an assistant coach and person close to the football program. Pelini resigned on Oct. 30, but later retracted his resignation, leading to his firing. Charlie Partridge was hired as FAU’s fourth football coach in December.
Before coming to FAU, Jarvis coached Boston University, George Washington and St. John's. He led GW to the Sweet 16 in 1993 and St. John's to the Elite Eight in 1999.
After a blowout loss to Tulsa last week, Jarvis expounded on the “other opportunities” he cited in Friday’s press release.
“I’m going to live a happy life,” Jarvis said after the Tulsa game. “I’ve started to write another book, and I could probably write two or three more books. I’ve got a screenplay that’s probably going to be ready to come out in the next year or two, and it’s mainly because of — honestly — the incredible life that I’ve had.”
Chun said that he will reach out to Ohio State basketball coach Thad Matta for advice in the near future. Chun was the former associate athletic director at Ohio State.
“The timing of this allows me to do a little due diligence in figuring out who we are and what we need and really trying to create a program profile on who FAU basketball is,” Chun said. “The job market is going to open up relatively soon as seasons close out. We’ll have to wait until respective teams end their season, then we can talk to most of these people.”
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