Too many injuries that resulted in too many losses that cost the Stanford men's basketball team a postseason berth at any level likely has led to the dismissal of head coach Johnny Dawkins.
Dawkins was relieved of his duties on Monday by Stanford Athletic Director Bernard Muir after guiding the Cardinal for the past eight seasons.
"This decision was not easy and it was a very difficult discussion for both Johnny and me, but like everything else during his tenure at Stanford, he handled it with class, respect and the utmost concern for his student-athletes," said Muir. "There are so many great things that Johnny was able to accomplish on The Farm, including improving the graduation rate, achieving an Academic Progress Rate of 1000, an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance and two NIT championships. The student-athletes Johnny coached during his tenure at Stanford represented the University with class and humility."
Dawkins went 156-115 in his eight seasons at Stanford, finishing with a disappointing 15-15 record (his worst since going 15-16 in 2010-11) that included an 8-10 Pac-12 mark and a 91-68 season-ending loss to Washington in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
"I want to thank the Stanford community for playing such an important part in the lives of Tracy and I and in the lives of our four children," said Dawkins. "While I am disappointed that we could not achieve the desired high level results, I leave proud of the tremendous young men who have given their all to the program and I know the future is bright for Stanford basketball."
Dawkins took the Cardinal to just one NCAA tournament in eight years -- reaching the Sweet 16 in 2014 -- and never contended for the Pac-12 regular season or tournament titles.
Stanford was not invited to the 2016 NCAA Tournament and missed out on a return invitation to the NIT. Stanford reportedly will not participate in any other tournament, should the Cardinal be invited.
Dawkins was hired in April of 2008 by former Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby and inherited a program that had been to the NCAA Tournament 13 of the previous 14 years.
Dawkins has recruited well. His successor will inherit a veteran roster that is expected to return intact along with with a handful of standout recruits.
Muir has begun a national search and there is no timetable for naming a new head coach.
One named already being tossed around as a possible replacement is former Stanford post Jarron Collins, currently an assistant with the Golden State Warriors.
Another possible candidate might be UC Irvine head coach Russell Turner, who was an assistant under Mike Montgomery at Stanford. He has guided the Anteaters for the past six seasons, including a regular season co-title in the Big West Conference this year. UC Irvine is 25-9, tying the school record for single-season wins.
Yet another name is Randy Bennett of St. Mary's. In his 15th season, Bennett has the Gaels (27-5) in the postseason for a ninth straight year -- albeit in the National Invitation Tournament. He's the program's all-time wins leader (331).
Coincidently, perhaps, former Stanford coach Trent Johnson also was fired on Monday -- by TCU. Dawkins took over for Johnson when he left to coach at LSU.
Whomever the new coach is, he will open the 2016-17 season in China. Stanford and Harvard will meet in the 2016 Pac-12 China Game on Nov. 13 in Shanghai, China.