Blog Entry

WKU fires Ken McDonald after controversial loss

Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:51 am
Edited on: January 6, 2012 11:02 am
By Gary Parrish

Western Kentucky has scheduled a Friday afternoon press conference to announce that Ken McDonald will no longer serve as the school's men's basketball coach. The development comes less than 24 hours after the Hilltoppers lost a home game in overtime when officials didn't realize Louisiana-Lafayette scored the game-winning basket with six players on the court.

“I have recommended to President Gary Ransdell that Ken McDonald no longer serve as our head men’s basketball coach, and he has agreed and supports my decision," said WKU athletic director Ross Bjork. "President Ransdell and I met with Coach McDonald this morning to inform him of the decision, and then we met with and informed the entire men’s basketball staff. I also met with our student-athletes and discussed the reasons for our conclusion and told them that we are committed to all of them as students and athletes here at WKU, and we owe them the ‘great program’ they signed up for."

McDonald was in his fourth season at the school. The former Texas assistant led WKU to a 25-9 record in his first season and earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament. He went 21-13 in 2009-10 and 16-16 last season. The Hilltoppers were 5-11 this season with a freshman-heavy roster.

Assistant Ray Harper will coach the rest of the season on an interim basis.

Western Kentucky plays Troy on Saturday.
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Since: Mar 23, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2012 6:59 pm

WKU fires Ken McDonald after controversial loss


Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: January 6, 2012 6:46 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2012 6:44 pm

WKU fires Ken McDonald after controversial loss

I think WKU made the wrong decision. I watched them play Louisville and they nearly beat them, they were dominating them for the majority of that matchup.

Yea, they have a bunch of freshman and sophomores. Don't you guys realize that there are growing pains? Especially in a smaller school where they play a bunch of good teams in non-conference. I think he should've been given this year and next year to see if he could make improvements.

All I know is that Western Kentucky team in his 1st season was pretty damn good. Although he didn't recruit those guys, he coached them up and the newer faces all have potential to do well as we move on to the future.

Just too much impatience by the administration at WKU.

Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2012 6:40 pm

WKU fires Ken McDonald after controversial loss

WOW, after taking money away from him last year, we all new this was his last season. Players quit listening to him along time ago. Never thought he was a NCAA coach anyways, well maybe he can get a high school job like the football coach did. So who do we get as our new coach ............... Well who will want to come to WKU ? Ralph Willard always said it was his biggest mistake by leaving here, but dont think he would be a good fit here, so good luck finding a good coach that they will pay like they should be and keep him around.

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2012 6:26 pm

WKU fires Ken McDonald after controversial loss

I hear KC Armstrong is on the short list

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2012 6:21 pm

WKU fires Ken McDonald after controversial loss

The headline here at CBS Sports and all the coverage nationally just shows that the media almost always tries to sensationalize stories and files reports with little or no research and even less regard for confirming accuracy.  Speculation is not good reporting, and that is what I've seen and heard all day on this firing.  WKU's attendance at men's basketball games this year may be the worst of all time.  If the team was drawing fans and winning, McDonald would still be coaching.  This is a business and winning is what sells.  Now was as good a time as any to make the change, because I doubt that McDonald would be retained next year anyway.  He took a pay cut to help save his job this year.  WKU needs to get some excitement back in the program.  Don't believe Ray Harper is the answer - WKU can do better. 

Since: Nov 12, 2011
Posted on: January 6, 2012 6:10 pm

WKU fires Ken McDonald after controversial loss

Rather poorly written article - begins by making it sound like the poor officiating in the overtime loss is why the coach got fired, but obviously that isn't the case.

Sounds like a plane crash there with each season being substantially worse than the previous. Can anyone elaborate on the reason for such a turnaround in the program? Recruiting? Are players leaving early or transferring?

Since: Feb 1, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2012 5:49 pm

WKU fires Ken McDonald after controversial loss

My guess is he was going to be fired regardless of the 6 player issue.

Since: Nov 24, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2012 4:54 pm

WKU fires Ken McDonald after controversial loss

Overall, it will be their costly mistake, especially since it will be 13 years until they get back to the NCAA tourney.  Some people are seriously borderline retarded, with no medical merit, like the unfortunate people who are stricken with tthis disease.

What are you talking about?  I'm not on board with the firing but at the same time i'm not about to jump off of a bridge.  It won't take WKU 13 years to get back to the NCAA tourney, they just have to win the Sun Belt.  If Dickerson was playing right now, WKU would have a 1 in 4 shot at going this year.  Gordon is the star and he is only a freshman, so as long as he doesn't transfer somewhere the program will wheather this storm.  Next year the 7 freshmen will be sophmores, Dickerson will still be a Jr (because of the RS), Crook will be a Sr the only player they lose is (Kahill) McDonald.  And from what i have seen Kevin Kaspar and TJ Price will be able to fill that void easily.  

I'm serious, regardless of who the coach is next year barring any injuries WKU will be one of the top 3 or 4 teams in the conference, and will be in SB tourney semis...if they win the next 2 they are in.  They won't be a top-50 RPI team, but they will have a realistic shot at the NCAA tourney next year.

Since: Jan 4, 2012
Posted on: January 6, 2012 4:48 pm

WKU fires Ken McDonald after controversial loss

It was time for a change . As a WKU alumni I have always enjoyed the success of our athletic teams . Just having a losing record in basketball is unacceptable . The mens basketball coaching job hasalways been a stepping stone to the major confrences .

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