ACU director of athletics Jared Mosley announced Monday that Jason Copeland has resigned as the men’s head basketball coach.
ACU ended its season Saturday with an 82-73 loss to Midwestern State. The loss dropped the Wildcats to 9-18 overall and 1-13 in the LSC South. Copeland was hired on May 4, 2005 and coached six seasons for the Wildcats.
“Jason came in and put a lot of time into the lives of our student athletes,” Mosley said. “He was able to instill a lot of attributes into our athlete’s lives that will serve our students well down the road.”
In Copeland’s first three seasons ACU steadily improved as ACU went from eight wins in 2005-2006 to 10 wins in 2006-2007 to 20 wins in 2007-2008. ACU also made the Lone Star Conference Post-Season Tournament in 2007-2008.
The last three seasons for the Wildcats though have gone the wrong way. ACU has gone from 10 wins in 2008-2009 to eight wins in 2009-2010 to nine wins this season.
“It will be tough to see him go. He has been here my entire career here, all four years,” junior forward Ben Warton said. “When it comes down to it though its about winning and losing, but it is still tough to see him go.”
The biggest struggle for the program though was winning games in the LSC South. ACU is 16-56 over the last six seasons under Copeland in division play. The last two seasons ACU has really struggled in the division going 2-24.
ACU has finished last in LSC South Division five of the last six years. The 2007-2008 season was the only exception as ACU posted 20 wins that season. That was the Wildcats first time to win 20 games in a season since the 1998-1999 season.
“I think he did a good job coaching, and he is a great man,” junior guard Zach Williams said. “We just had some key injuries at the wrong time this season.”
ACU is in search for its fourth coach since 1999. The program has struggled the past 12 years, as they are 123-195 overall and a mere 32-114 in division play.
“We just have to look forward now and see where we can go from here,” Warton said.
As signing day is approaching for the Wildcats, ACU is looking to find a replacement for Copeland quickly.
“With signing day coming up in April we are looking to move as quick as possible, so that the replacement coach can go out and get the players he needs for this program,” Mosley said. ” We want to make a quick move, but also make sure that we bring the right person in here to build the program up, and for it to mirror the level of some of our other programs.”