CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- The Chattanooga Mocs athletics program announces a change in leadership in the men’s basketball program Wednesday afternoon. Head Coach John Shulman is being released after nine seasons on the Chattanooga bench.
UTC made two NCAA Tournament appearances, won two Southern Conference Championships and four Southern Conference North Division titles in Shulman’s tenure. It was his first head coaching position.
His nine years heading the program is third-longest in Mocs history behind Mack McCarthy (12, 1986-87) and Leon Ford (10, 1963-72). He is No. 2 in wins trailing McCarthy’s 243.
Shulman was promoted to head coach after two seasons as an assistant to then-head coach Jeff Lebo in the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Lebo departed for the head coaching position at Auburn and a complete search for a replacement led to Shulman’s ascension to the lead chair.
His first team in 2004-05 went 20-11, defeated Tennessee in the regular season, captured the SoCon Championship and made the first UTC trip to the NCAA Big Dance since the Sweet 16 season of 1997. The seven-year postseason drought was the longest of the school’s DI era which began in 1977-78.
Shulman’s 2009 squad overcame a spate of injuries in the regular season to win the school’s 10th SoCon Championship and NCAA Appearance. That team also made a memorable week-long appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon during its NCAA Tournament run.
A national search for a successor begins immediately.
UTC INTERIM CHANCELLOR DR. GRADY BOGUE:
“I believe it is important to recognize and appreciate the contributions that Coach Shulman made to our athletics program and our student-athletes. For those investments and contributions, we can all be grateful. In recent years, however, the performance record has not reached a standard that John, the University or fans found satisfying. After lengthy discussions between myself, Chancellor-Elect Angle, University administrators, and Coach Shulman, we all have come to the conclusion that a change in leadership is appropriate.
“I join other friends and supporters of our basketball program in saluting John for the investment he made and his legacy of integrity in the operation of our program and extend to him and his family best wishes for whatever step awaits in the continued unfolding of his career.”
CHANCELLOR-ELECT DR. STEVE ANGLE:
“Although I did not get to know John Shulman personally, I know that he did a lot of good things for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He worked hard to fulfill the mission of the athletics department, guiding, supporting and encouraging our student-athletes in their quest for comprehensive excellence, academically, athletically and socially. For that, we all applaud his efforts.
“Moving forward, I think UTC is a great opportunity for a new Athletics Director looking to work within the framework of an engaged metropolitan university. There is a solid foundation that can support a tremendous amount of growth and be a continued source of pride in our community. I am excited about the future of the Mocs and look forward to working with the new leadership in the athletics program.”
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