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Old 03-09-2006, 02:30 PM  
Saulbadguy Saulbadguy is offline
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Jim Wooldridge gone. It's official.

www.kansascity.com/mld/ka...058780.htm

Wooldridge fired after KSU’s loss
By HOWARD RICHMAN The Kansas City Star

DALLAS — Kansas State coach Jim Wooldridge was fired immediately following the Wildcats’ 73-65 lost to Texas Tech in the first round of the Big 12 tournament Thursday at American Airlines Center.

Wooldridge went 83-90 in six seasons as K-State’s head coach. It was widely speculated that his tenure in Manhattan would end once the Wildcats lost in the conference tournament. That turned out to be true, as athletic director Tim Weiser met with Wooldridge just minutes after K-State’s loss Thursday.

Wooldridge’s tenure included 12 players who left the program for a variety of reasons. The first was Kenyatta Dix in July 2000 for undisclosed violation of team rules. The most notable was Nick Williams, a promising guard, who exited in April 2002 because of differences with Wooldridge. Williams went on to help the Cincinnati Bearcats reach the NCAA Tournament.

Wooldridge was hired March 14, 2000. That was five days after Tom Asbury was fired following a 9-19 season in which the Wildcats went 2-14 in the Big 12 and finished last.

At the time of his hiring, Wooldridge told The Star, “I know some people probably wanted a bigger-name coach. But I would say to them, ‘Don’t hold that against Kansas State basketball. We need you here. We need to do this together. And we will do it.’ ”

K-State athletics director at that time, Max Urick, recently told The Star that Wooldridge was the only job candidate who had a formal on-campus interview. Urick said Wooldridge, who had been a head coach at Central Missouri State, Texas State and Louisiana Tech, came highly recommended by legendary Wildcats’ coach Tex Winter and Tim Floyd, who was working as an assistant to Floyd with the Chicago Bulls at the time Urick tapped Wooldridge.

Winter told The Star at the time Wooldridge was picked, “I can’t think of anyone I know who would be a better fit at K-State.”

Urick said last month he fully agreed.

“Absolutely,” Urick said when asked if he thought he made the right hire six years ago. “I have no regrets or second thoughts.”

But in his very first game, Wooldridge had an ominous start. In an exhibition game against Global Sports, K-State lost 78-73 in overtime.

In the regular-season opener, the Wildcats had better fortune, beating Texas-San Antonio 71-55 at Bramlage Coliseum. But at the time, basketball still took a backseat to football. Only 4,681 attended.

Although Wooldridge upset two ranked teams his first season (No. 19 Iowa and No. 20 Missouri), the Wildcats still finished 11-18 overall and 4-12 in the Big 12 (10th place). KU pounded K-State 92-66 that season at Allen Fieldhouse, but Jayhawks standout Nick Collison praised Wooldridge’s guys.

“The score might not show it, but they played us tougher than they ever have,” Collison told The Star. “They’ve got something good going there.”

K-State posted its best Big 12 finish under Wooldridge in 2001-02, going 13-16 overall and 6-10 in the conference, tying the Wildcats for seventh-place. K-State produced the first of two victories over top-10 teams that Wooldridge registered at K-State, beating No. 9 Oklahoma State 70-61. It was the Wildcats’ first triumph against a top-10 team since stunning No. 1 KU in 1994.

But the Wildcats took a step back in 2002-03, losing seven of their last eight games, and placing 11th in the Big 12. The finale that season was a real doozy, and recently was shown on ESPN as a top-10 choke. It became known as “The Pasco Fiasco.”

K-State led Colorado by a point in the first round of the Big 12 tournament in Dallas, and had the win pretty much secured when the Buffaloes misfired on an inbounds pass, instead caught by the Wildcats’ Pervis Pasco.

Pasco, caught up in the moment, celebrated by running off with the ball, got nailed for traveling with 1.8 seconds left, and Colorado capitalized when James Wright pumped in a three-point bank shot at the horn for a 77-76 CU win.

The embarrassing setback didn’t affect Wooldridge’s next recruiting class, picked No. 1 in the country by HoopScoop, a recruiting service in Lousiville, Ky. It included Jeremiah Massey, Cartier Martin and Dez Willingham.

They helped K-State show slight improvement in 2003-04. The Wildcats went 14-14 and 6-10 in the Big 12, tying them for ninth. It was Wooldridge’s first .500 season, but could’ve been much better. The memorable games included a total meltdown in Kansas City when UMKC built a 44-point lead and went on to smack K-State 93-52; and a 57-56 home loss to Oklahoma State in which the Wildcats blew a 50-34 lead.

That March, Wooldridge received a two-year contract extension.

“I have been encouraged by several things happening in our program under Jim’s leadership,” Weiser told The Star. “Jim and I recognize there is still much work to do in order to bring our basketball program to the level we both desire.”

The 2004-05 season was marred by defections. Willingham left to be closer to home, and now is playing at SMU. In February, junior Marques Hayden departed. He was the cornerstone recruit for Wooldridge, and even scored 20 points in his first regular season game. At the conclusion of the season, second-leading scorer Fred Peete transferred to New Mexico State.

Also that month, K-State suffered another crushing defeat, one in which happened too often on Wooldridge’s watch. Oklahoma guard Drew Lavender hit a runner from the left of the paint at the buzzer, rallying the Sooners past the Wildcats 69-68 at Bramlage Coliseum.

K-State concluded the season 17-12 overall, Wooldridge’s first winning season. But the Wildcats went 6-10 in the Big 12 and took 10th place. They were not extended an NIT bid. And, on March 15 a year ago, Weiser announced Wooldridge would be retained for 2005-06.

But it came with stipulations.

“Tim pretty much said, ‘We’ve got work to do.’ I agreed,” Wooldridge told The Star that day.

But the job didn’t quite get done. So K-State is searching for its next coach.

To reach Howard Richman, K-State reporter for The Star, call (816) 234-4701 or send e-mail to hrichman@kcstar.com
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:37 PM   #2
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Good.... Wooldridge was an idiot.....

I think he was using the neckbrace more for attention than for neck support anyway....
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:38 PM   #3
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bout time they wised up
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:40 PM   #4
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Huggins?
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:41 PM   #5
Saulbadguy Saulbadguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HC_Chief
Huggins?
Get Huggins on the line NOW!
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saulbadguy
Get Huggins on the line NOW!
And if he accepts, beef up the Manhattan PD, because the thug count is about to rise significantly
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:44 PM   #7
Saulbadguy Saulbadguy is offline
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Originally Posted by HC_Chief
And if he accepts, beef up the Manhattan PD, because the thug count is about to rise significantly
Fine by me. We should notify the Taco Bell, Moon Bar, and Wal-Mart too.
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:45 PM   #8
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Press conference at 6:00 PM. Only 3 hours and 15 minutes of Wooldridge left.

But, listening to all of the things Wooly says, he is saying all the right things.
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:50 PM   #9
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I don't know why on earth you would want Bob Huggins... 0 graduation rate and a choke job late in the season every single year like clockwork.
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk13
I don't know why on earth you would want Bob Huggins... 0 graduation rate and a choke job late in the season every single year like clockwork.
True and true, but he's a solid recruiter (even if all he recruits = thugs), and he is a winner. I believe his career winning percentage is in the mid 70s.
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:55 PM   #11
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saulbadguy
Fine by me. We should notify the Taco Bell, Moon Bar, and Wal-Mart too.
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:58 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by HC_Chief
True and true, but he's a solid recruiter (even if all he recruits = thugs), and he is a winner. I believe his career winning percentage is in the mid 70s.
He recruits great athletes. No doubt about that. But there's more to basketball than recruiting, that just leads to disappointment. Quin Snyder's a good recruiter, Mike Davis is a good recruiter. I think you'd be better off finding a mid-major guy who can coach.
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Old 03-09-2006, 03:02 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by tk13
I don't know why on earth you would want Bob Huggins... 0 graduation rate and a choke job late in the season every single year like clockwork.
First part is complete bullshit.

Second part, partially true. However, i'd take a choke job in the tournament every year compared to the shit i've put up with the past decade.
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Old 03-09-2006, 03:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Saulbadguy
First part is complete bullshit.

Second part, partially true. However, i'd take a choke job in the tournament every year compared to the shit i've put up with the past decade.
How is that BS? And you're in the Big 12, you can strive higher than that. Southern Illinois' coach, for instance, there's a guy I'd be all over.
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