Melbourne United coach pays price for poor NBL season
BASKETBALL: Melbourne United has sacked coach Dean Demopoulos after an NBL season that fell short of expectations.
The coach, who has been in charge for the past two seasons, was immediately thrust into the firing line after United missed playoffs by losing its final two games of the season earlier this month.
United released a statement this morning (Thursday) saying Demopoulos' contract would not be renewed but thanked the American for his service.
"From the time he was hired as head coach, Dean has come to work prepared and passionate every single day," Melbourne United chief executive Vince Crivelli said.
"He led our talented group of players with class and with dignity, and brought a wealth of knowledge, professionalism and experience to Melbourne basketball.
"On behalf of our entire club, I thank him and wish him all the best."
Speaking after the club's last game earlier this month, Demopoulos said he would wait for his contact situation to work itself out.
"It is a contract year. Management and ownership will hash it out," he said.
"They have been very good to me. In a contract year you have to step back (and see).
"I really enjoy coaching this group and it's been a win for me regardless of whether it's my decision or not my decision."
United finished sixth on the ladder this season with a record of 13-15.
The club had ended last summer as minor premier before bombing out of finals with consecutive semi-final losses to New Zealand.