Charlotte fires former NBA All-Star Mark Price as 49ers men’s basketball coach

Charlotte officials announced Thursday that Mark Price "has been released from his contract" as the school's men's basketball coach, effective immediately.

"Mark and [his wife] Laura have dedicated time and energy to strengthen our men's basketball program," said Charlotte chancellor Dr. Philip Dubois.  "It's always difficult to part ways with such very fine people."

Charlotte hired Price, a four-time NBA All-Star, in March 2015. It created buzz but nothing more. He went 14-19 in his first season, 13-17 last season and was off to a 3-6 start this season. Add it up, and Price's career record is 30-42. Houston Fancher will take over and coach the 49ers on an interim basis.

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Mark Price was fired just nine games into his third season at Charlotte. USATSI

"I"m still stunned to be honest," Price told the Charlotte Observer. "I was called in this morning and was told they were going to make a change. ... They said they didn't like the direction of the program was taking and that I might have lost some of my players, which I don't agree with."

Price is the second straight Charlotte coach to accomplish little.

Bobby Lutz took the 49ers to five NCAA Tournaments in 12 years but was fired in March 2010 after missing the event in five consecutive seasons. Charlotte replaced him with Alan Major, who went 67-70 in five seasons. Price then replaced Major. And now the school will hire Price's replacement, presumably in March, in an attempt to return this program -- a program that used to regularly compete near the top of its league with Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis and Marquette -- to relevance.

The 49ers have not made the NCAA Tournament since 2005.

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Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

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