Updated: March 15, 2022 at 11:35 a.m.
Men’s basketball fired Head Coach Jamion Christian and his entire coaching staff Monday, four days after the conclusion of GW’s A-10 tournament showing.
The athletic department released a statement announcing Christian’s exit after three seasons with the Colonials. Christian finished with a 29-50 overall record over his three seasons, during which the Colonials were 1-3 for their conference tournament run.
Christian and his coaching staff – assistant coaches Graham Bousley, Ryan Devlin and Eric Atkins – are no longer listed on the team’s roster.
The athletic department’s director of communications Kevin Burke confirmed in an email the entire coaching staff will not return to GW. Burke also confirmed the hiring of Parker Executive Search to assist with the new head coach hiring with a proposed timeline of late March to April.
Burke declined to provide further comment.
The announcement comes after the Colonials suffered a 99-88 loss against Massachusetts in the second round of the A-10 Championship Thursday. GW ended the season with a 12-18 overall record and an 8-9 conference record, their best finish under Christian’s tenure after playing only eight conference games in a COVID-19-shortened season last year.
“This is a challenging day, as Jamion has faced significant adversity in his three years with us, and his relentless optimism and positivity was a source of energy on dark days,” Athletics Director Tanya Vogel said in the release. “He has been a worthy ambassador and advocate for our entire Athletics Department, and I wish Jamion, his wife, Allie, and son, Jacoy, nothing but the very best.”
Christian joined the program starting in the 2019-20 season after leading Mount St. Mary’s team for five seasons. Mount St. Mary’s was the most improved team in the 2018-19 season, setting a 67-39 conference record for the Mount.
Vogel said the decision was based on the team’s on-court performance.
“The GW community, University leadership and I have high expectations for what our men’s basketball program should be, and we are determined to find our way back to a place on the national stage,” Vogel said in the statement.
The split marks GW’s third head-coaching firing in the past six years, with former Head Coach Maurice Joseph and Christian spending three seasons leading the team each following the firing of Mike Lonergan in 2016.
Christian led a pair of All-Conference honorees in his first two seasons and recruited six transfers from the ‘Power 5’ conferences. During the 2020-21 season, Christian helped guide junior guard James Bishop to finish second in scoring in the conference with 19.2 points per game during his first year as a Colonial.
In the 2021-22 season, Bishop and sophomore guard Joe Bamisile earned a place on the A-10 All Conference Third Team while freshman guard Brayon Freeman was honored on the All-Rookie team.
Christian was characterized for his “mayhem” style defense that implemented a pressure defense and offense that is based on protecting the ball and the team’s 3-point shooting.
At the age of 29, Christian was appointed head coach of his alma mater Mount St. Mary’s, where he led the team to two NEC tournament championships and two NCAA appearances from 2014-2017. The team attained 101 wins and set a winning record during their six seasons, the only team in the conference to achieve such a feat.
During his fifth season with the Mounts, Christian was named the 2016-17 Jim Phelan Coach of the Year and Collegeinsider’s Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year, presented to the top minority coach in Division I.
Prior to his time at Mount St. Mary’s, Christian began his coaching career as an assistant at the Division III Emory and Henry College, followed by a stint serving as director of basketball operations at Bucknell University and as an assistant coach at The College of William and Mary.
Christian sprang his path into motion as an assistant coach at VCU, where he played a part in leading the program to a record 29 wins with an NCAA tournament appearance in 2012.
Christian started his career as a student-athlete at Mount St. Mary’s, where he was a three-time team captain with 581 points in 90 games and 56 starts. During the 2001-02 season, Christian led the team in scoring with 11.3 points per game.
“Through a national search for our new head coach, we must return to that standard and be in the picture for postseason success on an annual basis,” Vogel said. “We are committed to returning to winning at the highest level.”