Northwestern has fired Bill Carmody after 13 years with no trips to the NCAA Tournament, after a season when an injury-riddled Wildcats squad lost its final nine games.
ESPN's Andy Katz broke the news and the team soon confirmed via Twitter:
Bill Carmody will not return as the head coach of @numensbball.— Northwestern Sports (@NU_Sports) March 16, 2013
Carmody was arguably the most successful coach in Northwestern history. The only major conference school never to make the NCAA Tournament, Carmody got the Wildcats to the NIT every year from 2009 to 2012 after the program had only made the NIT three times in the entire history of the program.
However, fans got fed up with the continued inability to go dancing. With all-time leading scorer John Shurna graduating in 2012, they lost their best player. They also lost their top scorer and rebounder in 2012-2013 in Drew Crawford and Louisville transfer Jared Swopshire. After Swopshire's season-ending knee injury, the team lost every single game on their schedule by double-digits. Although the losses weren't Carmody's fault - many praised the former Princeton coach for his methodical offense and 1-3-1 defense keeping the team in games where they were clearly at a talent deficit - he took the blame, and now the team will try to rebuild.
Now, Northwestern will see if they can attract a marquee coach to a school with no history of success after firing their best coach in team history. It's a daunting task, but with Crawford returning for his senior season and a roster comprised mainly of freshmen and sophomores, the Wildcats will have another shot at making their first tourney next season if there isn't roster attrition after the Carmody firing.