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The Bill Carmody era is officially over at Northwestern

CHICAGO -- Bill Carmody will not return to Northwestern for a 14th season as the men's basketball coach, the school announced Saturday.

The Wildcats lost their final nine games this season and finished 13-19. More important, they never made the Field of 68 (or 65 or 64) under Carmody, which is typically considered the pass-fail mark for power-conference coaches. The New Jersey native came close a few times, made the NIT from 2009 to 2012, and is generally respected within the sport. But change sometimes must come for the sake of change and to give hope to fans who no longer have it or, perhaps, have never had it. So, development is rooted in that. An attempt to reach Carmody for comment was not immediately successful.

"Look at 13 years. Athletic success does matter. It should matter," Northwestern AD Jim Phillips said, via the Associated Press. "We were here a year ago. One of the key differences was, we were down to one year on Bill's contract. I didn't feel an extension was warranted. It would have been really detrimental to the program, to Bill or his staff to try to recruit with less than a year on his contract. So the combination of those factors resulted in us making the decision to make a change.

"It was really tough. It was a tough decision," Phillips said. "Bill's a terrific person, and he did a terrific job here. As I mentioned twice, he's elevated our basketball program. But you have to go back to their being a better destination. Certainly, there's some inherent risks in that, but it was time for a change."

Expect Duke associate head coach Chris Collins to emerge as the leading candidate.

He's from the area and has local support.

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