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Canisius announces Witherspoon will not return as men's basketball coach after 8-year tenure

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Canisius University will not renew Reggie Witherspoon's contract after eight seasons and is launching a search for its next men’s basketball coach.

The school termed the decision a mutual parting of ways in announcing Saturday that Witherspoon will not return. The move comes after an injury-depleted Golden Griffins team’s season ended with a 72-56 loss to Quinnipiac in the quarterfinal round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament on Wednesday.

Canisius spent much of the season without three key contributors in finishing 14-18, its fifth losing record in six years. The 63-year-old Witherspoon went 108-130 at the Buffalo-based school during his eight seasons, which included winning a share of the MAAC regular season title in 2017-18, and postseason berths in 2017 (CIT) and ’18 (CBI).

“He led our program with class and integrity, instilling these important values in his student athletes,” athletic director Bill Maher said in a statement released by the school.

Witherspoon is from Buffalo, and took over at Canisius after Jim Baron abruptly retired in the spring of 2016. Witherspoon previously coached at the University at Buffalo, where he went 198-228 from 2000-13, and held assistant roles at Alabama and Chattanooga.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball