Men’s basketball assistant coach Pete Strickland leaves program

One of the men’s basketball team’s top recruiters announced Monday he is leaving the program.

Assistant coach Pete Strickland, who arrived in Foggy Bottom in June 2011, said in a release that he is stepping down from head coach Mike Lonergan’s staff to be closer to his family.

“I have one son who has two years left as a college basketball player and another son who is a young coach in the game,” Strickland said. “I want to be able to enjoy their careers right now.”

The move is surprising with men’s basketball’s opening game just three weeks away. Strickland was one of the program’s strongest recruiters, pulling in the freshman guard Nick Griffin.

Strickland spent 25 years as a Division 1 basketball coach, including seven years as head coach at Coastal Carolina.

Lonergan saw staff turnover earlier this year, too. Assistant coach Kevin Sutton, who was hired with Strickland in 2011, left in June to become a coach at Georgetown.

Strickland’s son Michael is an assistant men’s basketball coach at Roanoke College, and his son Conor is a sophomore at Salisbury University.

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