VMI dismisses men’s basketball coach Bellairs

LEXINGTON, Virginia (Ticker) - After completing a 9-18 season and failing to qualify for the Big South Conference tournament, Virginia Military Institute men’s basketball coach Bart Bellairs was fired Monday after 11 years at the school.

The Keydets ended their season with a 69-61 victory over High Point on Saturday but still finished just 3-13 in the Big South.

“It was a difficult decision, but I felt we needed a new direction and leadership,” VMI director of athletics Donny White said.

Bellairs, who posted a 116-191 record at VMI, will be re-assigned within the athletic department. He ranks first on the school’s all-time wins list and his tenure was the second-longest of any VMI men’s basketball coach.

“Our basketball program has not been at the level we expected and a change in leadership at this time best positions us for success,” VMI superintendent Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III said.

Bellairs’ best season came in 1995-96, when he led the Keydets to an 18-10 record.

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Updated Monday, Feb 28, 2005