Assistant Coach Jared Grasso to Serve as Interim Coach for Remainder of Season

BRONX, N.Y. (December 3, 2009) – Fordham University head men’s basketball coach Dereck Whittenburg has been released from his contract it was announced today by Executive Director of Athletics Frank McLaughlin.  Assistant coach Jared Grasso will take over as interim head coach for the remainder of the season, effective immediately.

“We have great respect for Dereck as a coach and person, and appreciate his contribution to Fordham, his integrity and his dedication to the student athletes,” said McLaughlin. “We wish him and his family well.”

“This was a difficult decision, but we felt that we needed a new direction for the basketball program at this time.  It’s a priority of the University to have a successful program in the competitive Atlantic 10 Conference,” McLaughlin said.

Whittenburg is in his seventh season at Fordham.  He compiled a 69-112 record with the Rams, 136-162 overall in eleven seasons as a head coach.

Grasso is entering his fourth season as an assistant coach with the Fordham program. He served as an assistant at Quinnipiac University, his alma mater, in 2005-2006, before arriving at Rose Hill.  Grasso was also an assistant coach at the University of Hartford (2003-2005) after serving as a graduate assistant at Hofstra University in 2002-2003.

Fordham will immediately begin to identify possible coaching candidates, including Grasso.

The Rams are currently 1-4 on the year and will next be in action on Saturday, December 5, as they host the Bowling Green State University Falcons in the Rose Hill Gym at 7 p.m.