[B][SIZE=3]High Point dismisses Lundy[/SIZE]
By Tom Berry
March 10, 2009[/B]
HIGH POINT – Because a promising future could not erase a season gone bad, Bart Lundy was fired as High Point University’s head basketball coach on Monday.
Athletic director Craig Keilitz made the announcement six days after the Panthers were routed by Radford in the first round of the Big South Conference Tournament to finish 9-21 overall. In six seasons, Lundy went 96-87 overall and 48-46 in the league with four winning seasons.
Keilitz, who has been AD for a year, said “no one thing” led to the decision that Lundy would not return. High Point’s top nine scorers are scheduled to be back for the 2009-10 season.
“We’re ready to go in a different direction,” Keilitz said. “It was not based on one year. We looked at every aspect of the program.”
Reached by phone early Monday evening, Lundy said his dismissal was “a surprise,” but would not detail the reasons given for the change.
“I’d rather stay positive with it,” he said. “We had a lot of pieces coming back and coming in. At the same time, I feel confident that the program is in better shape than when I got here.”
Lundy came to High Point in the spring of 2003 after directing Queens, an NCAA Division II school in Charlotte, to a 115-41 record in five seasons. He took over for Jerry Steele, High Point’s head coach for 31 years.
The Panthers finished 19-11 in Lundy’s first season, after six straight losing records. High Point finished in the Big South’s upper division four times, with a best of 22-10 overall and second in the conference in 2006-07.
The Panthers never won a Big South regular-season or tournament title under Lundy.
“I walk out with my head held high,” he said. “I’m 37. I’ve got a lot of coaching left in me.”
Added Keilitz: “Bart is a tremendous person who put a great deal of time and effort into our program and represented the university with class and dignity. I truly appreciate his dedication and commitment to bringing the High Point program to a competitive Division I level. This was an extremely difficult decision and one that was made after a great deal of thought and consideration.”
Keilitz said he had not spoken with any candidates yet, but has received several inquiries about the position. Fred Barakat, a former associate commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference, will play a role in the search.