Aughey era is over at Memorial

Robin
Robin Short
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Turns in resignation after eight years as head coach of Sea-Hawks men's team

Memorial University athletic director Michelle Healey said the university will begin an immediate search to find a replacement for men's basketball coach Todd Aughey, who tendered his resignation Tuesday following a disastrous eight-year run behind the Sea-Hawks' bench.

Healey might not have to look very far. And no, we're not talking about Doug Partridge, who's developed the Sea-Hawks women's program into one of the best in the country.

Todd Aughey was 46-113 as head coach of the Memorial men's basketball team. Telegram file photo

Memorial University athletic director Michelle Healey said the university will begin an immediate search to find a replacement for men's basketball coach Todd Aughey, who tendered his resignation Tuesday following a disastrous eight-year run behind the Sea-Hawks' bench.

Healey might not have to look very far. And no, we're not talking about Doug Partridge, who's developed the Sea-Hawks women's program into one of the best in the country.

A day before Aughey knocked on Healey's door with his resignation letter in hand, Les Berry did the same at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S.

The difference between Aughey and Berry is the latter was winning basketball games.

"Any coaching job interests me," Berry said Wednesday afternoon. "Am I interested (in the Memorial job)? Yeah, absolutely."

In 2007-08, Aughey and the Sea-Hawks managed to do what no other Atlantic University Sport (AUS) men's basketball team had accomplished since the AUS adopted a 20-game format - go winless through the season.

It was also the first time in 25 years - when Mount Allison went 0-16 - that an AUS team couldn't record a single victory.

Since taking over from the popular Glenn Taylor, Aughey's record at MUN reads 46-113, with four playoff appearances, all of which came during losing seasons. In 2001-02, the Sea-Hawks were 11-9, the only time Memorial played over .500.

Along the way, Aughey managed to alienate many players, fans, media and sponsors.

Still, Memorial was prepared to have him return for a ninth season.

"We were quite comfortable and confident Todd was going to be running the program in 2008-09," Healey said.

Healey said Aughey voluntarily resigned, which surprised her. He will remain on staff until the end of July running Memorial's summer basketball camps.

Though the basketball season doesn't start for four months, this is a pivotal time for university teams. It's when coaches are recruiting high schoolers and Healey said she'll speak to the "six in the mix" with whom Aughey has been in contact.

"Conversations will continue," she said. "I'll talk to them to let them know we're still interested.

"But no doubt the timing is tight. There are a number of jobs that have been posted and filled across the country."

As for Berry, he resigned from Acadia this week citing a lack of "passion."

Insiders suggest the real reason may have everything to do with his relationship with Acadia athletic director Brian Heaney.

Either way, Berry carries an impressive resume.

When he took over the Axemen three years ago, they were last in the AUS at 2-17. The next season, they won the conference championship and this year - when they were in the national top 10 rankings all season - made it all the way to the national championship game.

"I've been there," he said when asked about the possibility of taking over Memorial following its woeful recent history. "I knew when I walked into Acadia, after three coaches in one year, it was a difficult situation.

"But recruiting is very important, getting the right kids in place and having them play a lot their first year.

"You take your lumps, but you can see what can happen in Year 3," he said in reference to the Axemen. "It's not insurmountable. We went from worst to first in three years."

One potential candidate took his name off the list Wednesday. Partridge, who has guided the Lady Hawks to seven AUS titles, a national bronze, won a couple of AUS coach of the year awards and a national top coaching honor, flatly stated he's not interested.

"Maybe at a different point in my life," he said. "There's a lot of work reconstructing men's basketball in the province, not just that team.

"I've got two small kids (ages five and 10) and it's important for me to see them grow up. I know how much time it took to build our program and most of the work was done in the first six or seven years. Now I'm reaping the rewards, you might say.

"And I'm not someone who feels they have to coach men to be relevant."

With top scorer Grant Harvey not returning next season, and not a lot of immediate help on the horizon, the cupboard looks pretty bare at the Field House.

"So," noted Healey, "it's a wonderful opportunity for someone to come in and make their mark."

Calls placed to Aughey's office were not returned.

rshort@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Sea-Hawks, Atlantic University Sport, Acadia University Field House

Geographic location: Acadia, Wolfville

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Recent comments

  • Ted
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    I am so pleased that Aughey is finally gone. Speaking from personal experience, he was not a nice person and didnt care for anyone but himself. Nobody liked him. No matter what company one was in, it was safe to talk about him and his lack of leadership and integrity. He has destroyed many players careers by using them and then forgetting them. Good riddens.

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    There are many reasons for the poor record, I would say the number one being lack of financial support for recruiting. MUN has offered peanuts to athletes to play here, so its no wonder Aughey had a poor record. There hasnt been a top teir player on MUN mens since Peter Benoit. If you want to win you need talent, not just kids looking for a varsity jacket. Also, Mun built the feild house primarily as a recreation facilty known as the work's and has routinely been less than helpfull to the varsity program. Aughey did as good as anyone could do with teir 2 talent. If Mun wants a winning mens team, get with the times.

  • Ed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    How about Peter Benoite? I know him from university, not basketball, but he seems to radiate leadership. Memorial, buy him a book of John Wooden quotes and he'll be fine.

  • Darleen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    This coach should have been sacked years ago. His record is depressing, he has turned players from the game, and has had a revolving door of assistant coaches. It is shocking that MUN built Field House partially for this team, and made a paying job for this coach to stay here. So, after infusing huge amounts of money into paying this man to stay here, and building new gym, the team's record remains less than .500. Aughey should be ashamed, and MUN should be ashamed for keeping him this long.

  • Phew
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    ABOUT TIME!!! Not only does his record speak for its self, but look at the good players that left over the years. Excellent recruits that wouldn't stay and play for him. Take Leonel Saintil who was a First Team All-Canadian and led Acadia to the national championship game. And there are plenty others. This change was needed years ago. I think MUN should have gotten rid of him before now!

  • Wince
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    About time! 46-113... yikes!

    I don't know the guy so nothing personal here, this just comes down to numbers. That's an abysmal record!

    I'm sure he's a great person and is very knowledgeable about the sport, but clearly he isn't the right person to lead this team at this level.

  • Greg
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I'd have to disagree with you Mike. There are plenty of reasons why this coach had trouble winning, but talent was not one of them. There are coaches who have won a lot more games with a lot less talent. And while Peter Benoite was exceptional at MUN, Jeff Saxby, Matt Chapman and others have all made conference all star teams during their university careers.

  • Karl
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Wow, the athletic director was surprised at the resignation of the men`s coach. Well my dear, maybe you should be looking over your shoulder. You know what they say, if your not part of the solution then you must be part of the problem. You have a first class facility with second class, dare I say it,management. Get with the program.

  • Rob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Mike to add something here, the womens team have the same budget do they not and they are always in the running for an AUS title and usually rank in the top 10 in Canada. Aughey was disliked by all and look at all of the players who have left and that speaks volumes. Its not the first time we have heard he is not a good communicator with the players. Sorry, but that record speaks for itself. And to think MUN would have him back again next year, they should be ashamed of themselves and particularly their Athletic Director whose name I will not mention. Heads over their should roll for the very fact he was not fired long before this.

  • shack23
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    I spoke with a Telegram reporter one occasion and he told me he could call Marc Crawford anytime , then the Los Angeles Kings coach, and get a comment. Yet , The Tleegram cannot get a quote or update on the MUN basketball team from Aughey, who lives in the same town !!!

  • Don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    To Ms. Healey....wonderful opportunity. Yeah, right!

  • Ted
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    I am so pleased that Aughey is finally gone. Speaking from personal experience, he was not a nice person and didnt care for anyone but himself. Nobody liked him. No matter what company one was in, it was safe to talk about him and his lack of leadership and integrity. He has destroyed many players careers by using them and then forgetting them. Good riddens.

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    There are many reasons for the poor record, I would say the number one being lack of financial support for recruiting. MUN has offered peanuts to athletes to play here, so its no wonder Aughey had a poor record. There hasnt been a top teir player on MUN mens since Peter Benoit. If you want to win you need talent, not just kids looking for a varsity jacket. Also, Mun built the feild house primarily as a recreation facilty known as the work's and has routinely been less than helpfull to the varsity program. Aughey did as good as anyone could do with teir 2 talent. If Mun wants a winning mens team, get with the times.

  • Ed
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    How about Peter Benoite? I know him from university, not basketball, but he seems to radiate leadership. Memorial, buy him a book of John Wooden quotes and he'll be fine.

  • Darleen
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    This coach should have been sacked years ago. His record is depressing, he has turned players from the game, and has had a revolving door of assistant coaches. It is shocking that MUN built Field House partially for this team, and made a paying job for this coach to stay here. So, after infusing huge amounts of money into paying this man to stay here, and building new gym, the team's record remains less than .500. Aughey should be ashamed, and MUN should be ashamed for keeping him this long.

  • Phew
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    ABOUT TIME!!! Not only does his record speak for its self, but look at the good players that left over the years. Excellent recruits that wouldn't stay and play for him. Take Leonel Saintil who was a First Team All-Canadian and led Acadia to the national championship game. And there are plenty others. This change was needed years ago. I think MUN should have gotten rid of him before now!

  • Wince
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    About time! 46-113... yikes!

    I don't know the guy so nothing personal here, this just comes down to numbers. That's an abysmal record!

    I'm sure he's a great person and is very knowledgeable about the sport, but clearly he isn't the right person to lead this team at this level.

  • Greg
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    I'd have to disagree with you Mike. There are plenty of reasons why this coach had trouble winning, but talent was not one of them. There are coaches who have won a lot more games with a lot less talent. And while Peter Benoite was exceptional at MUN, Jeff Saxby, Matt Chapman and others have all made conference all star teams during their university careers.

  • Karl
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Wow, the athletic director was surprised at the resignation of the men`s coach. Well my dear, maybe you should be looking over your shoulder. You know what they say, if your not part of the solution then you must be part of the problem. You have a first class facility with second class, dare I say it,management. Get with the program.

  • Rob
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Mike to add something here, the womens team have the same budget do they not and they are always in the running for an AUS title and usually rank in the top 10 in Canada. Aughey was disliked by all and look at all of the players who have left and that speaks volumes. Its not the first time we have heard he is not a good communicator with the players. Sorry, but that record speaks for itself. And to think MUN would have him back again next year, they should be ashamed of themselves and particularly their Athletic Director whose name I will not mention. Heads over their should roll for the very fact he was not fired long before this.

  • shack23
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    I spoke with a Telegram reporter one occasion and he told me he could call Marc Crawford anytime , then the Los Angeles Kings coach, and get a comment. Yet , The Tleegram cannot get a quote or update on the MUN basketball team from Aughey, who lives in the same town !!!

  • Don
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    To Ms. Healey....wonderful opportunity. Yeah, right!