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Kenney Out as Winthrop Coach

March 2, 1998

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) _ In the end, Winthrop basketball coach Dan Kenney didn’t win enough.

``That’s the way it was explained to me,″ said Kenney, who was let go Monday after leading the Eagles the past six seasons.

Athletic director Tom Hickman says Kenney graduated his players, ran a clean, upstanding program and did everything ``first class,″ but the school could no longer carry his record of 51-103 since 1993.

``It’s unfortunate,″ Hickman said. ``In this day and time, if you don’t have those, it can lead you to problems. But if you do have them, it’s not always enough.″

Hickman said Winthrop assistants Bobby Stevens and Greg Domecq also were let go. Stevens had been with the Eagles eight years and Domecq six.

Kenney’s best year was his first, in 1992-93 after he took over for Steve Vacendak. The Eagles were only 11-15 in the regular season, but won three straight games in the Big South Conference tournament before losing to Coastal Carolina 78-65.

Winthrop only once won more than 10 games in a season after that and has never since won a Big South tournament game.

This year’s team was 7-20 and lost to Maryland-Baltimore County in the first round of last week’s conference tournament.

``We played .500 basketball the last month of the season,″ Kenney said. ``The team was playing its best basketball at the end of the year.

``But if a finite number (of wins) is not reached, the university has to make a decision,″ he said.

Hickman says the search for Kenney’s replacement started immediately and he expects to have several interested candidates. He’s not sure when a decision will be made.

Before coming to Winthrop, Kenney coached Pembroke (N.C.) State to seven straight winning seasons. He also served as an assistant at Western Carolina, East Carolina and Pembroke State.

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