Indiana basketball coach Mike Woodson has decided not to retain assistant coach and former IU guard Dane Fife.
“I am committed to doing what I believe is best for the continued growth of our men’s basketball program as we collectively work toward returning it to the upper echelon of college basketball,” Woodson said in a news release announcing the move. “Sometimes, that commitment can result in some very difficult decisions, and that is the case today. Ultimately, I believe that the fit must be right with a coaching staff, and I’ve decided that a change is necessary. I appreciate everything Dane has done as a member of the staff during the last year and as player for our program. He will always be a part of the Hoosier family and I wish him well in his future pursuits.”
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Fife did not respond to a text message or several calls from the Herald-Times on Wednesday, but released a statement on his Twitter account on Wednesday evening.
“I love IU with every part of my soul and grateful to those that gave me this opportunity,” Fife posted. “Most importantly, I’m honored to have worked with the players on our team. They dug deep, never gave in and will be forever remembered for their accomplishments. I became an Indiana Hoosiers 25 years ago, I’m a Hoosier today, and I’ll be a Hoosier tomorrow! Go IU!”
Fife showed interest in the head coaching job after former coach Archie Miller was fired, but decided to join Woodson’s staff after 10 years as an assistant coach under Tom Izzo at Michigan State. Prior to that, he spent six years as the head coach at Purdue Fort Wayne, then known as IPFW, posting an 82-97 record with the Mastodons.
As a player at Indiana, he helped the Hoosiers to a berth in the national title game in 2002 and was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year that season. He was a highly regarded recruit, earning Mr. Basketball honors in the state of Michigan and McDonald’s All America honors in 1998.
This story will be updated.