Greenberg Fired as Men’s Basketball Coach

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At a 4pm press conference, Jim Weaver announced that Seth Greenberg has been fired as men’s basketball coach at Virginia Tech.

Seth Greenberg

Greenberg, who just completed his ninth season at Tech, had a 170-123 record at Virginia Tech, and a 383-293 record in 22 seasons as a college head coach.  He was coming off a 15-16 record which saw the Hokies go just 4-12 in ACC play.

“I am here to tell you that (Associate AD) Tom Gabbard and I decided last week that we needed to go in another direction in our men’s basketball program,” Jim Weaver said.  “We have terminated Seth Greenberg’s tenure as our basketball coach.  We appreciate the effort he gave to our university for the last nine years.”

Since the end of the season, Greenberg has lost assistant coaches Rob Ehsan (UAB) and James Johnson (Clemson).  Reports also surfaced today that Tech’s final remaining assistant, John Richardson, was leaving for a job at ODU.  Richardson came to Tech from ODU before the 2010-11 season.  That rumor is unconfirmed, though Weaver mentioned three vacancies on the staff at one point during the interview.  He could also have been referring to the open Director of Basketball Operations position.

“Because we have three vacancies now on our staff,” Weaver said, “it made all the sense in the world to make the change now and hire a new staff that is going to be here.”

Weaver went on to emphasize that he didn’t like the coaching turnover that was becoming common in the program.

“I didn’t like the way things were unfolding with assistants leaving an ACC program.”

What kind of coach will Virginia Tech pursue?

“We’re going to try and find the very best person we can,” Weaver said.  “I’m not going to rule out the possibility of an assistant coach.  I’m not going to rule out the possibility of a young, inexperienced head coach, nor am I going to rule out the possibility of someone with a good deal of head coaching experience.”

Weaver indicated that the hire will be handled within the athletics department, and that no outside firm will be used to help find a candidate.

We’ll have much more on this developing story soon.

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47 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. My .02 simply put is that VT=FTBL & Duke=Basketball, dont see it changing
    What magical formula would change this history?
    I am not going comment on who should coach or not coach BB at VT but firing someone for assistant coaches leaving program and comparing BB to VT FTBL family of coaches is a culture that takes time and winning more than Mr. SG. So I guess we will just have to see in the years to come.
    Go Hokie Football!

  2. Greenberg needed to go and this was the right thing to do in firing him.

    Now get rid of the women’s coach and the athletic director and start anew.

  3. A surprising but welcomed move. I had lost total interest in VT BB during Greenberg years. I have no idea who new coach will be but this move has certainly sparked a rekindled interest on my part on the future of VT BB.

    1. VT basketball actually became relevant again under Greenberg… I remember growing up going to games during Stokes tenure, when the stadium was at most half-full. What Greenberg accomplished during his time here cannot be looked down upon. With that being said, these last few years things have started to fall apart and I fully agree with his firing.

  4. Something has to be up no one knows about. For the AD to say Seth was on solid footing and then fire him abruptly would indicate that. To fire him while he had a recruit with him on campus (if that report is true) says something about the urgency of the situation. Additionally, the number of player and now sudden coaching departures is very unusual for a program being run by the same coach for so long.

    I have no confidence in Jim Waever’s ability to hire a basketball coach; however I was struck by one thought when I heard Seth had been fired. This week begins the reseating of Lane Stadium…our most stable athetic progam, and like it or not, one of the most stable athletic programs in Division 1 in any sport.

    I believe the reseating of Cassell begins next year. There has never been a more opportune time for this search to begin. We just finished buliding a very fine basketball facility, the ACC BB conference still has value, but the league is wide open and the reseating of Cassell starts next year. This is indeed a critical time for our men’s basketball program. I have been to our home games and seen the place 1/3 full. The last reseating occurred about the time of VT’s acceptance into the ACC.

    If Seth were to have another .500 season, like last, and he was fired NEXT year, how would that reseating go? By bringing in a new coach (I personally think Marshall & Smart are longshots) it might at least create enough excitement to bolster a stagnant fan base at this critical juncture.

    Go Hokies!!

      1. I understand you are a fan of Seth and that’s cool; or maybe you are more concerned that we won’t be able to do better than we had with Seth. I understand that too and its a concern.

        With all due respect to you, since I don’t know you and I am genuinely curious, what excitement is there when lless than 4000 people show up to watch us play other ACC scools besidesUVA, Duke and UNC?

        How would you describe the identity of our team under Seth after 9 years? Besides a tough defense, and some nice, albeit inconsistent, transition stuff, how would you characterize our half-court offense? I can’t and I have been following VT basketball for the last 25 years.

        The wins over Duke, UNC, FSU and UVA have been great! However, in my opinion, we have had far too many losses against lower conference, in-state and/or bottom of the league teams every year to offset the wins.

        I was not of the opinion that we should have fired Seth this year by the way and I am a long time season ticket holder. However, something’s wrong, and as poorly as it may have been handled today, if there was something that had to be done, its better to do that now. With as many transfers of players and now coaches, something’s up. It’s worrysome and had to be addressed.

        Just my opinion. Kindly interested to hear yours

  5. Life – and VT BB – will go on. There are a lot of good coaches out there who would like to come to Virginia Tech, and I have to believe we’ll get real Hokie!

    1. A real Hokie? That’s a ridiculous statement and a complete embarrassment. What does that even mean? Greenberg loved VT and did a great job at reaching out to the students during his tenure. He worked hard and ran a clean program. So even if you don’t like his attitude at times, you should respect many things he did for Virginia Tech. He was and is a real Hokie.

      As far as the “lot of good coaches who want to come to VT” part, we’ll see about that. Based on Weaver’s track record of coaching hires, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  6. Interesting that JW was so sure that they were not going to renew SG’s contract next year. What if he won the league, got in the NCAA tourney, filled the seats again? What then? We’ll never know. We were lucky to have SG. I hope we get that lucky again. I have little regard for JW. All I need to know about him is he has steadfastly refused to give press credentials to

  7. Everyone has a right to an opinion.
    We can agree to disagree.
    We must now move forward.

    This is the beginning of a dark period for VPI basketball. That’s my take. I wish I were wrong.

  8. Geez, just when I had started to love Seth-area basketball again after 25 years of wandering in the desert. I would love to be optimistic like many on the boards who wanted SG out, but I am not sure we can do better than a SG – and we could easily do a lot worse. We shall see, I guess.

  9. I’d try to get Tommy Amaker — he’s doing quite well at his current position. I believe it is Harvard and they beat some good teams on their out-of-conference schedule.

    1. Amaker was considered before as a hot-shot recruiter/assistant under Coach K. He’s been through the mill, not as attractive as he once was…probably says why he’s at Harvard.

  10. The manner is which it was done, the late hour Seth was notified and the reaction and statements of Weaver at the press conference places VT in a very bad light. It will be a very long time before a respected coach comes to Blacksburg to coach our BB team. This day was the beginning of a dark(er) period for VT Basketball. I can only hope that a miracle hire takes place!

    1. You had all assistants leave, players talking about transferring, and recruits talking about rethinking their decisions (because the coaches who recruited them were gone)…….It sounds an AWFUL lot to me that this “dark period” you refer to was WELL UNDER WAY….Maybe that’s why it had to be done, and done now.

      BTW…I wasn’t one of those calling for his job. I’m just looking at the picture…It wasn’t pretty!

      1. Name which players or recruits were thinking about transferring? It’s the othe way around! Now that Seth was fired Harrell is talking about not coming, Delaney just tweeted we lost a recrruit from his area now and people are afraid that DoDo will leave.
        Did you hear Eric Green’s interview? You may want to, then re-think your post. He mentioned the players and himself were shocked and upset. He’s screwed b/c he is a Sr. I only hope he can talk the current playeers into staying.
        Wait for the news and you may just feel stupid with your post.
        Sorry, but FWIW, we all will find out soon if this was a goood move.
        I know it was an very unfair move regardless how you feeel about SG,
        He had a good player ready to committ, but he is a goner to USC-E now.

        1. I’m hearing an entirely different story. I cannot tell names and tales, but you are right about one thing….Time will tell.

          Oh, and you’re wrong about another…I will not feel “stupid” about my post. If I am wrong, I am wrong. Again, I have my sources for what I said.

          I was giving my opinion! I doubt I would feel stupid for doing so.

  11. More here than Anyone is seeing. Mr.Weaver didn’t sound Happy and I bet there is more Not Happy with our Basketball program. I do believe that VT will get a good new Coach, I don’t think Weaver fired this one without having that in mind. His health is bad But I do believe he will do what’s right for VT.

  12. I can’t help but wonder if Weaver will put forth the same amount of effort that he did in his exhaustive search for a new women’s coach. Maybe he could reach down and pull another Ricky Stokes out of his bag?
    And , you call a press conference at noon, and then not tell Seth until 1:30? Isn’t that backwards?

    1. Good point. Only in Merriman Center could the next BB coach be a current assistant on the football staff.

    2. I assume you’re talking about the same effort he put in for the “nationwide” women’s bball, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, and women’s lax? Yeah. That’s about the same effort I’m expecting in this exhaustive search.

  13. Seth has assembled some good talent, and as a person and family man, I hate to see him go. But as a pratical look at the team suggests, we need a change. The ACC was built on basketball and even though football is King in Blacksburg, we should be in the tourmant regularly, because the ACC is hoops country.
    Change will be good, and I hope that Seth and his family land on their feet and do well in life. He is a great color commentator an maybe an analyst is in his future.

  14. It all comes down to money. The coaching turnover had a lot more to do with money as CC has pointed out in recent articles. When it comes down to it, he did more for VT basketball than anyone in 25 years. Bill Foster was ok, but he was coaching out the string at that point and fell bass akward into a great class.

  15. I think the wrong person was let go. I have no confidence in Weaver to choose a successor to Greenberg. Ricky Stokes was a bad choice, Beth Dunkenberger was a inept choice, and he (Weaver) stuck with her way too long. Weaver’s health has deteriorated, and he just won’t do the right thing for VT and retire. I was actually surprised he showed up for work long enough to make a decision and have a press conference.

    Other people on staff would be forced to retire on disability, but why is Weaver an exception to the rule? Is no one willing to talk about the elephant in the room–Weaver needs to go. I didn’t trust his judgment prior to the onset of Parkinson’s, and I certainly don’t trust it now. Let’s not forget, we almost lost Beamer in 2000 because of Weaver’s Machiavellian attempts to bring in his boy from Western Michigan. I don’t trust Weaver. I just spoke to my son, he asked who is available to replace Greenberg? I honestly think this will have the same effect on MBB that Dunkenberger had on WBB.

    Then, when asked the reaction by the players, Weaver offered up Eric Green. From sugar cookies, stick-it-in, Dunkenberger, Beamer leaving in 2000, jerkalert cartoons at football games, etc., etc., Weaver is the who should be gone. I’m sorry for Weaver’s health concerns, but I’m convinced Weaver will only leave VT when he’s horizontal. However, we’re not supposed to criticize him because of his health. Jim Weaver will say that it’s only business—-well, it’s only business that he should go.

    1. Amen! Look at Weaver’s hiring history and I’m really worried. I was a little excited by last yr;s class and Harrell and Wood coming in this yr. Now we stand to lose them along with 2 recuits whe were close to committing to VT.
      SAD DAY!!

  16. It’s pretty simple. Fan support was down, ticket sales are down and like it or not it’s a business. This stuff of 4 byes in the ACC tourney is ridiculous as a reason to keep a coach. Are you kidding me thinking any other ACC schools coach saying ” hey let’s play to get a bye in the tourney” and that is a successful season. If that is your goal then you do not need to coach in a major college conference much less any college basketball program. It all comes down to timing, all 3 coaches had left, and no operations of basketball person in place. Basically you had no management, no recruiting, no coaches. When several of the assistants said they didn’t leave for money but for other reasons and left to go to non major conferences, that is a red flag. I don’t know this for sure but from people close to the program, they said Greenberg was getting difficult to work and many players in the past said he is very difficult to gain his trust, etc.. I mean this year Eric Green was giving everything he had and carried the team and then he benches him near the end of the season. That was a horrible move and shows possible recruits that trust is never gained and turmoil is brewing. For those of you who say Greenberg is a great recruiter, you got to be kidding me as he has only had a few top tier players ever come to Tech. One thing I noticed is that most of VT players are better as freshmen or redshirt freshman than when they are juniors or seniors. What that shows me is that he was unable to coach up players. I don’t dislike Greenberg but if you look back at his coaching history, all he does is take a team who lacks motivation and gets them motivated. Once that edge is gone, he no longer can continue to improve a team. He is the worst X and O coach in the ACC and doesn’t know how to make in game adjustments. I know you might not like what I stated here but watching VT ball is like watching street ball. If Tech can’t score a basket on a fast break, it’s basically guys running around in circles until a bad shot is taken. It’s not their fault, that’s bad coaching. I know he won a couple huge games through the years but it’s about way more than that in major sports or in a work place. Like it or not, it is about what have you done for me lately.

  17. Weaver hired Greenie… and he can fire him… just like he has done with Ricky S and Beth D. Weaver does a great job of running the program, but hasn’t distinguished himself when selecting coaches.

  18. I liked Seth, but the turn over in the program was unusual and suggested there were problems for which we as fans are not aware. I also think however it is time for Jim Weaver to go and my opinion has nothing to do with his disease. Seth’s firing was not handled well and he deserved better than to be let go this way even if a coaching change was in order. Jim Weaver has never been likable but I give him credit for running our programs in the black but every dog has his day and I think VT should be making more than just a change in the Basketball Coach.

  19. Okay, I’m awake now. Shocked. dismayed.

    Initial thought is that JW should be the one out the door, not Seth. I respect JW for his management as AD. But he is something way short of 100% these days with Parkinson’s and back problems and a little age on the hoof. He should have graciously hung up his spikes before ever attempting to go into a new hire for something as important a position as BB coach. I do not see a good outcome from this scenario.. This sets us back several years in BB.

    God bless your heart, Seth. Let’s pray JW pulls a rabbit out of his mangled old hat.

  20. In February 2012 Weaver was quoted in the Washington Post as saying firing Greenberg was “not even a topic” and that his “body of work was very solid.” Two months later he’s fired suddenly. In his nine years at Tech he’s never had a scandal; he has a great overall winning record and performance in the ACC; and a bunch of bad luck with injuries. Sure, I’d like to Tech place well in the ACC and go to the NCAA’s every year, but integrity matters. Seth got the shaft.

    1. Since that time all of his assistants have left to take jobs at other schools. I would imagine that factored heavily into the decision.

    2. Yes – Integrity does matter and Weaver has little.

      Beamer had to interview with UNC to get Weaver to pay him anything close to
      what he deserves.

      Should have never come to that.

      Seth just took delivery of a truckload of buffalo biscuits.

      1. Agreed. Weaver operates the entire athletics department like a business- underpaying coaches and taking the cheap, easy route with new hires. After James Johnson already had the offer to go to Clemson and make more money, it doesn’t do a lot of good to say, “oh hey, I guess we’ll pay you the same if you want to stay.” Johnson obviously already made the decision and was half-way out the door. Matching pay at that point is slightly insulting and too little too late if you ask me. The most despicable part is despite his prior actions, Weaver claimed the firing was due to Greenberg not being a part of the family atmosphere. Weaver informed Greenberg of his firing AFTER scheduling the press conference? And that’s the “family atmopshere” expected in the VT athletics dept? Give me a freakin break.

  21. A few things come to mind…

    Bunch o’ crap…
    Raw deal…
    Grass is never greener…
    Weaver should take a hike…
    Injuries happen and you can’t blame the coach…

    1. Java, you are correct!

      I say Weaver knew he was going to fire CSG when he increased the money pool for assistant BB coaches.

      Weaver made it look like he was giving CSG some support when, in fact, he was supporting the next head coach.

      Weaver now has something to pitch to anybody who interviews for the job –
      “Look at me and how I’m supporting our BB program. I just increased the pay structure for the assistant coaches you bring in with you.”

      Weaver did all that for himself. Don’t tell me he did it for the program.

      Pray CSG lands on his feet. He deserves to work for somebody better than the likes of Weaver.

  22. Weaver further added “I will rule out the possibility of conducting a national search commiserate with what would be appropriate for one of the top basketball leagues. I will further rule out the possibility of spending an appropriate amount of money to hire a successful coach and assistants to be competitive in the ACC. That would just be foolish.” TIC

  23. Two time ACC Coach of the Year and four byes in the ACC tournament! Bet the next coach won’t match that anytime soon. Don’t care if assistant coaches leave as long as the program was getting better recruits each year. Next year’s team should be fairly loaded to make a new coach look good in his first year. Greenburg might not have been the easiest person to work for, but how much support did he get from Weaver. Many Tech supporters were hoping that Weaver would be retired before the search for any new coaches would begin.

    1. I agree…I thought Weaver would be gone before Seth…simply due to his health. Have you seen the press conference? Weaver looked terrible.

    2. Seth has assembled a pretty good group of players. If the administration had gotten behind him I think he could have found a decent point guard to help out and maybe another big.

      You can’t expect to retain coach’s after they have made up their mind to leave, especially, when their pay was as out of whack as it was pointed out in Chris’s article. The rug was pulled out from underneath CSG and nobody offered any support. If the admin wanted CSG out due to personality than man up and fire him but have the decency to give the man a heads up before you call a press conference.

      I have always appreciated JW for the job he has done, but this thing was botched in my opinion.

        1. I still think the whole situation could have been handled better. IMHO Weaver and Gabbard both may be nice guys but good administrators would have been more classy in how they went about firing someone that has been employed by you for 9 years.

          Even Weaver opening up the press conference by joking about how people thought he was going to announce his own retirement was out of line. You just fired a man from his job. If you can’t show reverence at least show some compassion.

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