After four lackluster seasons as head coach at Wake Forest, Jeff Bzdelik resigned from his position on Thursday. The Demon Deacons finished with just one winning record with Bzdelik at the helm (this year’s 17-16 campaign), and when the news trickled out that he would not return for a fifth season, students rejoiced and "rolled" the quad.
"Rolling the quad" is a tradition at Wake when students throw toilet paper into the trees on the quad, usually after a significant athletic victory by the school.
But as you can see via the school’s webcam and the Winston Salem-Journal’s Lauren Carroll, the students are thrilled with Bzdelik's downfall.
— Lauren Carroll (@LCarrollWSJ) March 20, 2014
Bzdelik put together a 51-76 overall record and won just 17 ACC games (only two on the road) during his time in Winston-Salem. After Dino Gaudio was fired following a second-round NCAA tournament loss in 2010, the decision to hire Bzdelik away from Colorado was unpopular among Wake Forest fans from the start.
Bzdelik had just a 36-58 record at Colorado. Fans wondered what made him an attractive candidate after he had never finished higher than eighth in the Big 12.
“Jeff is a man of great character and integrity who made every decision for the long-term benefit of the program and the University,” Wellman said. “At this time, Jeff felt that new leadership would help the program and allow the student-athletes to reach their full potential. Jeff’s four years with us have produced many positive results. He has recruited very good people, both players and staff, to Wake Forest.”
Bzdelik coached the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, Air Force and Colorado before accepting the job at Wake Forest. Despite attaining a winning record this season for the first time in his tenure, a 6-12 conference record was ultimately not good enough.
"During my year-end review with Ron, we discussed the overall status of the program which I believe is very positive," Bzdelik said. "The right players are in place who have the values that are important at Wake Forest. At the end of the discussion, I told Ron that I am resigning because there needs to be a positive environment for the players to realize their potential."
Wellman said a search for the school’s next head coach will begin immediately, but there is no timeline to name a replacement.
“As I imagine that most of our candidates will be participating in postseason play, I would not expect us to have a quick announcement on the new coach," Wellman said. "I will be working with university leaders and national basketball leaders to identify the most outstanding prospects. There is no timetable for this process."
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