Colorado State basketball coach Larry Eustachy to resign
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) Larry Eustachy has agreed to step down as men’s basketball coach at Colorado State, ending a ”climate assessment” of the program led by athletic director Joe Parker.
Eustachy agreed to resign and amend his contract, which will now pay him $750,000 in three installments over the next two years. He’ll remain on paid leave until June 30, at which time he’ll formally resign, the university announced Monday.
The assistant coaching staff will be retained through the end of June.
Eustachy’s decision to resign and amend his contract means there will be no conclusions or recommendations associated with Parker’s investigation into Eustachy’s behavior and interactions with players and staff, the school said.
Parker has not divulged what prompted the investigation.
Eustachy was in his sixth season at Colorado State, which first looked into his behavior in 2013-14 when Jack Graham was athletic director. That investigation determined Eustachy emotionally and verbally abused his players and created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, but he retained his job.
Eustachy’s longtime assistant, Steve Barnes, was elevated to interim coach after Eustachy was placed on administrative leave earlier this month during the latest investigation. But he, too, was placed on leave a week later and replaced by assistant coach Jase Herl after CSU players had boycotted practice.
Barnes and Eustachy have coached together since the late 1990s.
In a statement Monday, Eustachy said he was honored and thankful to serve as the Rams’ coach but added, ”At the end of the day, it is time for me to step aside and allow Colorado State to open a new chapter of Rams basketball. Likewise, this also gives me a chance to hit the reset button and then put all my energy into future opportunities.”
Parker said he was grateful to Eustachy for his contributions to the program ”and for the time we have worked together. In turn, I understand and support Larry’s interest to shift his energy toward opportunities beyond his tenure at CSU.”
The Rams are 11-19 this season, including 4-13 in the Mountain West Conference.
Eustachy was 122-79 at CSU and is 524-337 in 27 seasons at Colorado State, Southern Mississippi, Iowa State, Utah State and Idaho.
His best season was 1999-2000, when Eustachy had Jamaal Tinsley and Marcus Fizer running the show and helping Iowa State to a 32-5 record, along with a spot in the Elite Eight.
For that, Eustachy was named AP coach of the year.
Shortly after his resignation at Iowa State in 2003, Eustachy went into rehabilitation to treat alcoholism.
Following a year away from basketball, he was given another opportunity at Southern Miss, where he steadily built the program into a Conference USA contender. He turned in four 20-win seasons with the Golden Eagles and led them into the NCAA tournament in 2012 for the first time since 1991.
When Tim Miles left Colorado State for Nebraska, Eustachy jumped to CSU and led the Rams to a 26-9 mark in his first season, which included an NCAA tournament berth and a No. 22 ranking in the AP Top 25.
They wouldn’t return to the NCAA tournament again under Eustachy, however.
The Rams reached No. 24 two years later during a 27-7 season but were snubbed by the NCAA that year. They went 24-12 in 2016-17 before slipping this year.