Washington Fires Head Coach Lorenzo Romar After 15 Seasons

After months of speculation, Lorenzo Romar’s 15-year tenure with the Washington Huskies is now over.

“After evaluating our men’s basketball program, I have determined that a change in leadership is necessary,” UW’s Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. “Today is particularly difficult because Coach Romar is such a beloved member of our University community. I want to thank Lorenzo and his family for 15 years of dedicated service and sacrifice to our University.”

Frustration grew in Seattle throughout the course of the season with the program’s record ending in a dismal 9-22 for the 2016-17 campaign, including 2-16 in conference play, despite having Markelle Fultz on its roster, who many consider the potential No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. In the 2015-2016 season, the program went 19-15, including a 9-9 record in Pac-12 play, despite having two 2016 NBA Draft first round picks in Marquese Chriss and Dejounte Murray.

Making matters more complicated, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2017, Michael Porter Jr, had committed to the Huskies after the Romar, who is Porter’s godfather, hired the five-star recruit’s father, Michael Porter Sr, as an assistant coach. The firing now opens the door for Porter Jr to decommit from the program and choose a different program. And according to one report, Porter Jr might be headed to Missouri.

Porter Jr hails from Columbia, MO, and his two older sisters play for Mizzou’s women’s basketball team. His dad was an assistant coach for the women’s team for four years until Romar hired him at Washington this past season.