Oklahoma State is expected to part ways with head basketball coach Travis Ford following a first-round loss to Kansas State in the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo, according to ESPN's Jeff Goodman.
It was the seventh consecutive loss for the Cowboys and its first ever loss in the opening round of the Big 12 Tournament. The Cowboys finish the season with a 12-20 overall record, just the fourth 20-loss season in program history. OSU hasn't lost more than 14 games since the 1986-87 season, when it went 8-20.
OSU will owe Ford $2.4 million per year, to be paid out monthly during the next three years. When Ford finds another coaching job the athletic department is required to pay only the difference of his contract and his new salary.
Ford, 46, has served as the Cowboys coach since April 2008 with five NCAA Tournament appearances. He led OSU to a 155-111 overall record in his eight seasons at the helm.
In Ford's first season, he led the Cowboys to a 23-12 overall record, with a 9-7 mark in Big 12 play. That season Ford led OSU to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since the 2004-05 season when it reached the Sweet 16. In the tournament, OSU beat Tennessee 77-75 before being knocked out by No. 1 Pittsburgh -- who made the Final Four -- in the second round. It was the only tournament win in Ford's time at OSU.
Ford signed a 10-year contract extension in September 2009. In six seasons since his extension, Ford's teams have made the tournament four times and lost in its opening game each time, including in each of the past three tournaments.
Ford's best season came in 2012-13 when OSU posted a 24-9 overall record highlighted by a win at Kansas -- the first win by OSU in Lawrence since 1989. True freshman Marcus Smart was named the Wayman Tisdale National freshman of the year and Big 12 player of the year. The Cowboys earned the No. 5 seed in the tournament, but fell to No. 12 Oregon in the opening round.
The Cowboys hired Ford after he posted a 62-35 record (.639) during three seasons at UMass, guiding them to back-to-back 20-plus win seasons in 2007 and 2008. In his final season with the Minutemen, he posted a 25-11 overall record and a runner-up finish to Ohio State in the NIT. Prior to UMass, Ford spent five seasons at Eastern Kentucky (2000-2005) and three at Campbellsville (1997-2000).
What's next for OSU?
Doug Gottlieb, who was OSU's point guard from 1997-2000, and currently serves as college basketball analyst and national radio host for CBS Sports, has a strong interest in coaching the Cowboys. He has never coached, but is the son of the late Bob Gottlieb, who was legendary coach Eddie Sutton's assistant at Creighton before taking head-coaching jobs at Jacksonville and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
OSU fans have started a #BringDougHome movement on social media, and clearly want him as the new coach. OSU athletic director Mike Holder has not stated publicly his view on bringing Doug back to Stillwater.
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