Alabama Parts Ways With Avery Johnson

William Davis | Contributor

Alabama has officially decided to “mutually part ways” with head basketball coach Avery Johnson.

The Crimson Tide announced its decision in a press release on Sunday. Johnson had been Alabama’s coach for four years, and finished his career with a record of 75-62. (RELATED: Avery Johnson Could Be Out At Alabama, Says Report)

“After meeting with Coach Johnson, we made the decision to mutually part ways,”  Alabama Athletic Director Greg Byrne said. “This was not an easy decision, and we thank him for his contributions over the past four seasons. We wish Coach Johnson and his family the very best.”

Johnson handled his departure with the same class that he displayed over his four years at Alabama. (RELATED: Nick Saban And Bill Belichick Photographed Together At Alabama’s Pro Day)

“This was an opportunity of a lifetime, and we truly enjoyed our experience at Alabama,” Johnson said.  “I also want to thank my family for all of their support and contributions to the program.”

I had the opportunity to meet Coach Johnson a few years ago when I was a student. He’s a class act and a good basketball coach, but he couldn’t get the program over the hump. Best of luck to him and his family.

The question now becomes who Alabama hires next. We have an incredibly talented roster returning, and a good recruiting class. This is clearly one of the best open jobs in the country right now, but Alabama has to get this hire right.

Many fans are going to want the Crimson Tide to look at Rick Pitino, but that seems unlikely given all of his baggage. Alabama alum Steve Prohm has been solid at Iowa State, although he appeared to deny interest in the job.

Regardless of who Alabama hires, it’s time for this program to finally start living up to its potential. Alabama basketball is a sleeping giant, but it has to wake up now.

It’s now or never.

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