Kvancz says Hobbs will stay

Head men’s basketball coach Karl Hobbs will return next year, GW’s director of athletics told The Hatchet on Tuesday.

“Karl Hobbs will be the coach next year. He understands what is expected – his expectations might even be higher than mine,” Jack Kvancz said.

In the past several weeks, there has been a growing sentiment among vocal fans that Hobbs – whose contract runs through June 2012 – should be dismissed. Kvancz acknowledged the unhappiness and said he too was disappointed with how the season transpired, adding that he did not know exactly what went wrong.

Hobbs’ contract was extended in 2007 on the heels of three straight NCAA tournament appearances – a school record. The University paid the 47-year-old $509,000 in 2007, the sixth-highest staff salary at GW, according to the University’s most recent tax filings. Terminating the contract early would likely cost the University hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Hobbs could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

This month, for the second consecutive year, the men’s basketball team did not qualify for the Atlantic 10 tournament, which invites the top 12 of the conference’s 14 teams. The team finished 10-18 overall and 4-12 in the conference, placing them thirteenth, ahead of only Fordham, which had its worst season in team history.

Fans have also expressed dissatisfaction with how the eighth-year coach handles himself on the court and with the media, and have criticized him for blaming players instead of himself when the team loses.

In January, Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Robert Chernak told The Hatchet that if the team did not make the Atlantic 10 tournament, the University would have to look at “making some changes.”

“In this situation, you can’t ignore that if the season goes really south and sour we would have to some real heart-to-heart conversations with Coach Hobbs in terms of what we expect going forward if he wants to remain coach at GW,” Chernak said.

He added, “At the end of the day, a coach is being paid to win basketball games.”

Chernak was busy Wednesday and unavailable for comment.

Kvancz, who says he has a good working relationship with Hobbs, hinted at making some changes to the program, but would not go into specifics.

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